Manipal: September 16, 2015: Their desktop 3D printing firm was started with a prize money of just Rs 5 lakh at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). But the two engineering graduates have raised $3 million in just two years.
Rohit Asil and Vijay Raghav Varada, both MIT students, founded Fracktal Works after they won the prize in ’Provenance’, a state-level B-plan competition organized by Manipal University Technology Business Incubator (MUTBI), two years ago. The main objective of this competition is to encourage future technological entrepreneurs.
Chasing their dreams in three-dimensional printing (3D), the duo launched their startup at MUTBI while they were still studying. This centre assisted them by providing logistical support during the incubation period of 18-36 months. Vijay is a B Tech in Mechatronic Engineering and Rohit, in Instrumentation and Control from MIT.
The duo who moved out of MUTBI a year ago, said Manipal University gave them an opportunity to chase their dreams. They have tied up with MNCs and the firm’s net worth has risen to nearly $3 billion. The idea of creating the 3D printer was triggered when they were into inter-collegiate competitions.
"Initially, we were interested in robotic technology but later switched to the 3D printing project, which we thought was a fluke but was recognized by MIT," they said.
After incubation at MUTBI for a year, Fracktal Works shifted base to Bengaluru to continue developing and manufacturing their own brand of 3D printers ’Julia’ and providing customized services to different clients, including Cisco, Toshiba and L&T. Their USP has been competitive pricing in 3D printing.
Currently, Fracktal employs a dozen people. Vijay says that imported basic 3D printing costs Rs 4-5 lakh, while they sell it only for one-third the cost.
They plan to use all the funding to expand the team and strengthen their product development capabilities by hiring industrial designers and embedded system programmers. "Two years of bootstrapping have taught us how to utilize funds frugally and we will continue to do so," added Rohit.