[GET] Back then, we had no ecosystem to rely on, Sneh Vaswani, Co-founder & ceo, MIKO – Promo

THE IDEA: A robotics start-up. Its 18-cm-tall robot, Miko, acts as an emotional cushion and an interactive tool for education and games. Miko’s AI system enables it to have long conservations with a child, adapting to the latter’s personality and mood.
EUREKA MOMENT: In 2014, Sneh Vaswani and cofounders Prashant Iyengar and Chintan Raikar saw a mother scolding her child for being glued to the mobile screen. “We realised how gadgets have a hypnotic hold over children. Though there’s more information available today, technology is hampering children’s ability to absorb it,” Vaswani said. “The ability of a child to grasp information and make sense of the world around him or her has diminished.” The team conducted a survey and found that 92% of parents were worried about the impact of gadgets. “That’s how we thought of Miko, a robot loved by kids and an information gateway trusted by parents,” he said.
EARLY DAYS: Miko was incorporated in January 2015.
“We wanted to enter the consumer space, but we experienced some hiccups in sourcing and product development. At the time, there was no ecosystem to support hardware firms like us. We had to build everything from scratch,” Vaswani said. “It took us 18 months to come up with a product. In 2016, we launched our first generation of Miko robots and received a huge response.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Teaching Miko cultural nuances. “Family setting, language, culture and interests vary vastly in our country — I would say there’s a difference every 200km. We want Miko to absorb and make friends with children in every part of the country. Currently, it speaks only English; we hope to teach it Hindi,” Vaswani said.
Recently, it raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. Miko is available in 350 stores in India. “We are strong in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai. We hope to enter tier 2 cities and expand to markets in the US, UK and the Middle East,” he said.
[GET] Back then, we had no ecosystem to rely on, Sneh Vaswani, Co-founder & ceo, MIKO – Promo
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