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March 24, 2011

Profile of wireless home theater system firm Snap

Business Today recently published a profile of Snap Networks, a Bangalore-based maker of an innovative wireless home theater audio system , which is is seeking to raise $3-5 million in venture funding.
The sound system, branded Violet, consists of a set of five wireless speakers, a sub woofer, a transmitter, a micro controller and a remote control. But the coolness factor stands on two legs: one, the speakers can be screwed into a light bulb holder or plugged into an electric source with a bulb holder adapter. Michael Foley, one of India's top names in industrial design, came up with the nine-pin or trophy-like design for the speakers.

Two, it delivers a home theatre feel anywhere in a room unlike the traditional 5.1 speaker set-up. "We have moved away from the conventional equilateral triangle approach used to set up a home theatre system and rely on our chips to build a circle of sound for users, so that the surround sound effect is not dimmed anywhere in the room," Aggarwal says. Snap's speakers use complex chips and a microphone to detect each of the five speakers in a set-up and, using in-built software (rather than more and clumsy hardware) and electronics, build a surround sound experience anywhere in a given space.

...Already, Aggarwal and Bhatia are figuring out revenue streams beyond selling the branded speakers designed by Snap. Bhatia says the firm has had a few employees fly to the headquarters of Loewe, a German firm specialising in consumer electronics, and could also consider manufacturing its speakers as "white boxes" and have thirdparty brands stamped on them for a fee. Snap's rivals aren't exactly quaking in fear, though. "Consumer electronics buying isn't just about a clever idea," says a senior Samsung executive. "People are attracted to a strong brand, unique features and strong customer support.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at arun@ventureintelligence.in