Bengaluru-based Thinkerbell Labs raised Rs 1.05 crore from yesterday's episode of Shark Tank India. The startup offers visually impaired kids a Braille self-learning device named 'Annie'. Their flagship product Annie, helps visually impaired children learn, read, and type braille without any assistance from a trained professional. This device holds significant promise in spreading literacy amongst blind people.
Being the world's first Braille literacy device, Annie was able to raise Rs 1.05 crore from Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, Emcure executive director Namita Thapar, and Shaadi.com & People Group founder Anupam Mittal. The idea was formed by the students of BITS Pilani - Sanskriti Dawle, Aman Srivastava, Saif Shaikh and Dilip Ramesh. The venture is backed by Anand Mahindra, Let's Venture and Indian Angel Network.
In 2016, the startup was incubated by Masschallenge UK. Here they received the opportunity to present Annie to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who learnt to type "George" (as in Prince George) in Braille. Annie was nominated for Prime Minister's Excellence Award. They were also selected for the Reliance Jio GenNext Accelerator. They won the Dell Startup Challenge and London Acumen Pitch Event. In 2021, they also won the Dell ElevatED Challenge.