BitChemy Ventures has invested in two companies co-founded by its Managing Director Sunil Motaparti – 3LOQ Labs and Altiux. The Hyderabad-based incubator also invested in a third startup Cafyne and the total size of investments in three companies was $6 million, reports VCCircle.
Update: BitChemy mailed us to clarify that Motaparti is also the founder of the venture, which is a technology incubation firm.
3LOQ helps brands and retailers understand individual customer’s behavior based on past actions and context and automatically adapt marketing campaign to their habits using machine learning. The Hyderabad-based company was founded by Motaparti and Anirudh Shah and it claims to have networked directly with mobile operators to provide live customer data. That said, it is not clear what kind of data they are getting from operators and for what that is being used.
Altiux is an early-stage Bangalore-based end-to-end product engineering company for industrial, telecom, mobile & wireless, consumer electronics and healthcare verticals. The company was co-founded by Motaparti and Shyam Vedantam and are currently building M2M middleware and solutions for connected home and living , apart from enterprise and mobility solutions.
Cafyne offers brand management solutions to enterprises and even has an API for developers who wish to build on top of their platform. It claims to offer big data social streams and pre-processed information compiled from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, blogs, news sites and forums. It also offer social media consulting, training and support. The company was co-founded by Rohit Valia, who is also its CEO. Valia used to work with IBM as Director for Big Data Analytics and it needs to be pointed out that Motaparti also used to work within design automation groups at IBM at some point.
Our take: The investments is a clear case of conflict of interest as Motaparti was a key decision makers in the company that invested in his own companies. It also needs to be pointed out that such conflicts have happened in the past too, like in 2007 when Sandeep Singhal who was Managing Director of Sequoia Capital invested $7 million in Minglebox that was founded by his wife Kavita Iyer.
A counter-point to this is that the fact that you’re also an investor and a founder, that shouldn’t be a disqualifier for investing in the firm, if the decision is taken independently.
BitChemy Ventures has invited other early-stage companies in both B2B and B2C sectors to approach them for investments of up to $100,000 in return for a minority stake.