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Khosla Ventures backs Bangalore start-up Theatro

Theatro, an early mover in the voice controlled wearable communications devices for hourly workers in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing market segments, announced today that it has closed a $ 5 million investment from Khosla Ventures in a Series-A round.

After securing early backing from an “A-list” of angel investors, this round brings the total investment in Theatro to $ 8.8 million. Ben Ling, investment partner at Khosla Ventures, who served in senior operating roles at Google, YouTube and Facebook, led the investment and has joined Theatro’s board of directors. The capital will be used to help Theatro aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as broaden and accelerate product innovation.

“Enterprise communication will be more effective with mobile technology,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. “Theatro is well positioned to help increase workforce productivity through their voice-enabled, hands-free device and corresponding productivity apps.”

Theatro was founded in 2012 by Chris Todd, Ravi Shankar Kumar, Patrick Fitzgerald and Guy VanBuskirk. The company based out in the US, opened its R&D centre in Bangalore in 2013.

“Hourly employees are one of today’s most valuable workforces, and they could be more effective and productive with innovative technology tools available to them,” said Chris Todd, Theatro CEO. “Ben Ling and Khosla Ventures share our vision of the prominent impact that enhanced enterprise communications can have on mobile workforces by connecting employees to one another while they’re on the job and also to their company’s business information”

The Series-A financing builds on the continued momentum of the company since announcing the commercial availability of their SaaS offering in December 2013. The company is rapidly growing with a notable list of national retail clients and opened a research and development (R&D) center in Bangalore, India in February of 2014.

“Improving workforce productivity and customer satisfaction is at the heart of Theatro’s suite of products and is a major challenge for most retailers. We are excited to work with Theatro during their next phase of growth as they roll out the service to retailers across the nation,” said Ling.

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