"We decided to bring automation into the semi-conductor and embedded systems realm where there were high entry barriers and virtually no local eco-system in India"
R.K. PATIL, CEO, Vayavya Labs
After spending over 20 years in the semi-conductor and embedded software industry and product roll-outs based on these technologies, R.K. Patil and other co-founders of Vayavya, believed they were ready to launch an Electronic System Level (ESL) Design start-up.
"We realized that as electronic gadgets were getting smarter and more sophisticated, the software in them was also improving and expanding exponentially. Clearly, embedded software could not be treated in a conventional way, by adding more heads to deal with the problems. What was required was software for the hardware as well as the real-world software applications," says R.K. Patil, CEO, Vayavya.
The company decided to leverage the new thinking driving the EDA industry and bring it into the embedded software space.
The company's R&D resulted in Device Driver Generator Tool (DDGen), a software that automates the delivery of device drivers for any system, thereby helping design teams in organizations to meet their product rollout timelines by reducing the time taken, the costs and effort.
Attracting the right talent and pitching the company to investors and convincing them that its idea was implementable, was a key concern.
Like any start-up story, the founders initially raised their own seed money. They also banked on the success, reputation and credibility they had built up through an earlier venture, which had been acquired. Vayavya spent close to three years conceptualizing the product with a team in Belgaum and finally had a prototype ready which was shown to customers.
In late 2010 and early 2011, the company managed to raise its first level of funding from the Indian Angel Network as well as a long-term debt from the Technology Development Board (TDB). This helped it to increase its sales and marketing.
Advising peers to protect their inventions through patents, know the real cost and value of their innovations in the market, create core R&D as well sales and marketing teams and build customer traction from day one, R.K. Patil says that building visibility is also important.
Going forward, the company is looking to make its technology mainstream, capturing large customers and contributing to the development of industry standards. "We plan to offer our tools in a SaaS model, which will provide a compelling cost-of-ownership for semiconductor firms", R.K. Patil adds.
The company will also work with strategic partners, including operating systems vendors, to proliferate the technology and its acceptance and reach its end customers-system design firms.