Tiny Israeli Startup Wins $20m Indian Deal

MindoLife will supply internet of things technology to India's SAR Group

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drive in mobile desalination unit along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. July 6, 2017.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drive in mobile desalination unit along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. July 6, 2017. GPO

A tiny Israeli startup with just seven employees and no venture capital backers has just scored a giant $20 million deal with India’s SAR Group to supply it with internet of things technology.

MindoLife, formed in 2014 and based in Haifa, said on Monday it would be supplying its Cyber-Things products to SAR to be integrated into the Indian company’s water bars and home-energy systems over the next three years. The two firms are in a long-term strategic-cooperation agreement that sees integrating MindoLife’s IoT technology in SAR’s full line of products.

“We will be supplying our customers the network and the communications management between different devices with a fundamentally secure protocol,” said Rami Younes, MindoLife’s co-founder. He said one application will be for SAR home energy-storage devices, which will make use of MindoLife technology to better monitor the power loads and supply.

Younes is one of four Israelis – the others are Rami Khawaly, Yoav Rosenthal and Noam Levi – who founded the company at the Hybrid accelerator in the Galilee city of Nazareth three years ago, and have funded it to date with money from the Israel Innovation Authority.

MindoLife had as many as 15 employees, but recently cut back to seven. Younes said that with the new contract, which includes an upfront payment and milestone payments, the startup hopes to take on another 10 employees over the coming year.

The contract comes less than two weeks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic visit to Israel that included signing a series of high-tech accords. But Younes said the SAR contract wasn’t connected.