Titan Acquired Hyderabad Based Hug Innovations to Strengthen Their Technology and Wearables Play9 months ago Shravani Maddirala
Of the many things Titan is famously known for, corporate acquisitions aren’t necessarily one of them. Indubitably it is a boon in plain sight for it acquires a proposition solely if it cannot be developed in house or if it takes time enough to lose out on their market share for it. One of the novel acquisitions of the watchmaker giant is the Hyderabad based HUG Innovations. The company announced on Tuesday that the Hyderabad-based wearable and IoT platform startup HUG Innovations will soon be transformed into Titan’s Hyderabad Development Centre, offering the advantage of expertise in hardware, firmware, software, cloud technology, consumer platform, and patents among others, to be headed by the founder of HUG Raj Neravati.
“HUG Innovations has finally sailed to a safe harbour. Titan acquired HUG Innovations. And yes, this is a cash positive exit with 100% employee retention with bonus and a great career ahead,” said the startup’s founder Raj Neravati in a Facebook post after the announcement by Titan. Though being well settled in a 9to5 job with a tech giant in the USA, Neravati returned to India post the Nirbhaya incident. Deeply affected by the unrest and lack of the safety of our women, he set out to bring out impactful change through the range of smart products launched in 2014.
What started off with the thought of launching a safety app saw various pivots, and after deep research and development, it finally took shape as HUG, a gesture-control technology and device startup in October 2016. The startup is known for developing the world’s first gesture-controlled smartwatch. This patent-pending technology comes with Contextual Intelligence that instinctively understands the intent of your actions, be it to turn up the music or dim the lights using just hand gestures. And in keeping with Raj’s initial motivation to promote women’s safety, it can also send out SOS signals using hand gestures. The T-Hub startup then went on to launch a smart kids tracker that it developed for Eurokids called Eurokids Mybuddy Smart Locator.
At Hug Innovations, they constantly endeavour to bridge the gap between people and technology through their unique range of smart wearables. They firmly believe that our world is in growing need of technology that is more companion than a gadget. Innovations you can adopt without having to adapt to them. For them , there couldn’t be a simpler, more approachable word than ‘Hug’ to convey their passion and personality. ‘Innovations’ represents the cutting-edge, next-generation technology that they are developing to transform the wearable space. Together, Hug Innovations represents their mission to deliver sustainable lifestyle companions that you don’t have to learn how to use.
HUG manufactured smart watches embedded with safety features in collaboration with Foxconn and fitness bands, building a customer base of 30,000 people. In December, HUG publicised a fitness band available on Amazon for Rs 1,799 and a smart watch for Rs 4,499. As a significant milestone, In May 2019, HUG won a US patent for gesture control technology which can raise an SOS alarm using gestures, Neravati said.
Its innovative technology also won Raj and his startup several accolades from across the globe. In March 2017, Hug innovations was awarded the best startup in India in the Global Mobile Challenge where 1,500 startups from across the world participated. It also made it to the top 3 in the APAC region. It made it to Nasscom’s list of the 10 hottest startups to watch out for in 2017. It was recognised as one of the top 20 emerging Indian companies by Mayor of London in May 2018. It also made it to the top 20 of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India programme, which ranks the fastest growing technology companies in India based on their percentage revenue growth over the last three financial years.
After the Nirbhaya doom eclipsed India, many took to the streets to protest. It also sparked various important conversations around the state of Indian women and safety. Amongst them, comes one man with the powerhouse of technology and resources to aid every woman to feel a little safer. With a truly commendable effort, HUG innovations has come a long way to serve its purpose. With numerous accolades to its name, HUG Innovations surely rings a bell loud enough for everyone in Hyderabad, and now the world, to take notice.