Drone manufacturer, Garuda Aerospace, has raised $22 million, reportedly the largest ever Series A funding in the drone sector. The round was led by Venture Capital firm SphitiCap which invested $12 million along with participation from other global investors, angel investors and high net worth individuals (HNIs) at $5 million.
Another $5 million in funding was raised from an infra-development company and a group of HNI and angel investors from India, UAE and Singapore were secured by the start-up earlier.
While Garuda Aerospace continues to strengthen its existing offering, the acquired funds will be utilised to scale up and expand the company’s operation. A part of the funds will be used for research and development (R&D) thus accelerating the development of building advanced drone solutions for the armed forces in collaboration with global companies for the defence and aerospace sector.
The funds will also be used for the skilling and training of drone pilots and help create employment by deepening its footprints in tier II and III cities. Garuda drones will further be enhanced with payload capacities, endurance, quality of sensors and data embedding with more technology solutions. Currently operating in Pan-India, Garuda Aerospace aims to achieve significant dominance in rural areas which will help manufacture drones that will bring fast delivery, reduce cost and improve accessibility.
"Garuda Aerospace aims to sell 25,000 drones in the next 18 months and is looking forward to exporting 10,000 drones to about 100 countries in the next 15 months. After my experience at Davos 2023, it was clear that Garuda Aerospace has the potential to scale globally, by manufacturing more Make in India drones and will help India to become the drone hub of the world by 2030," said Agnishwar Jayaprakash, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Garuda Aerospace.
“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off our Drone Yatra by launching 100 Garuda Kisan Drones in 100 villages last year and Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined as a brand ambassador and shareholder, we have seen Garuda focusing on unit economics, profitability and sustainability. Garuda is growing so fast because our smart drones are disrupting Multi-billion dollar sectors such as agriculture, mapping, infrastructure, Industry 4.0, defence, mining and project inspections not just in India but across the world." Jayaprakash concluded.
"Garuda Aerospace has built various types of drones with an interesting segment and their developments in the drone sector are one to watch out for. Given the evolving preferences and horizontal expansion with the usage of drones in several sectors, there is a vision of promising growth beneficial for both companies. With this, drones will be playing a major in nearly every sector in the future,” observed Pallav Kumar Singh, managing partner, SphitiCap.
Garuda Aerospace boasts a fleet of 400 drones and a well-trained team of over 500 pilots across 26 different cities across India. Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has invested and is also the Brand Ambassador of the company. Garuda Aerospace DGCA approved (Type certification and RPTO) Made in India Drones are disrupting several multi-billion dollar sectors like Agri, Infra, Industry 4.0 and defence.