Garuda Aerospace, a startup company for drones, announced on Monday that it had secured $22 million in an early fundraising round from venture capital firm SphitiCap.
According to CEO and founder Agnishwar Jayaprakash in an interview with ET, the Series A fundraising round gives Garuda Aerospace a $250 million valuation.
In the round, SphitiCap contributed $12 million. According to Jayaprakash, further investors included Ocgrow Ventures, based in Canada, Silverstone Capital, based in the UK, an unnamed infrastructure development company, high net worth individuals (HNI), and angel investors.
In the following 18 months, Garuda Aerospace plans to sell 25,000 drones, and in the following 15 months, it expects to export 10,000 drones to roughly 100 nations. The business’s most recent investment round, totaling around $1 million, took place in 2021.
Garuda Aerospace, a 2015 startup, produces and sells drones (55% of revenues), as well as providing “drone-as-a-service” (45%). According to Jayaprakash, the company presently conducts business in India, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates.
He predicted that the company will conclude its fiscal year ending in March 2023 with revenues of Rs 40 crore, which he predicts will rise to Rs 800-1,000 crore by FY24.
With the additional funding, Garuda Aerospace will be able to scale up and grow its business while also quickening the development of cutting-edge drone solutions for the military and aerospace industry in partnership with international firms.
The money will also be utilized to improve the drone pilots’ abilities and training, as well as to expand its presence in Tier II and Tier III cities and assist create jobs. Garuda Aerospace generates income from a brand-new market, drone pilot training programmes, in addition to providing sales and services to the agricultural, defence, and industrial plants sectors.
It claims to have served over 750 clients, including Tata, Godrej, Adani, Reliance, Swiggy, Flipkart, L&T, Survey of India, Lockheed Martin, Cognizant, and Elbit Systems. It produces 30 different types of drones and provides 50 different services. The company presently runs over 400 drones in 84 cities with roughly 500 pilots.
Institutional venture capital investors in late-stage and growth-stage technology have mainly shunned drone startup companies. Entrepreneurs told ET that it is taking time for these investors to assess the company. As a result, startups choose strategic investors who subsequently offer them global go-to-market options.