Drone start-up Garuda Aerospace Private Ltd. has announced plans to raise more than $30 million to meet its capital expenditure requirements for manufacturing high quality drones for agricultural applications.
“We have plans to invest ₹250 crore to develop drone technology and in R&D besides in manufacturing units to effectively compete with foreign players,” said said Agnishwar Jayaprakash Founder and CEO. “We will invest in artificial intelligence, data analytics for better crop yield through applications via drones. The objective is to enhance crop protection capabilities to double farmers’ income.
“We have had several investors calls in past weeks and are talking to raise over $30 million shortly to meet our investment plans,” he added.
“Till August last year, this sector was a regulated industry and investors were not showing much interest. But now with the PLI scheme and opening of the sector, the scenario has changed,” he further said.
The firm had earlier raised $1 million in pre A-series round.
He said the company has plans to manufacture six lakh drones by the end of 2025 under its Kisan Drone initiative, which will be deployed in agricultural applications. These will be both for providing drones on rent and on sale.
“By early 2024 we will manufacture two lakh drones and ramp up production to six lakh units by end of 2025,” he said.
The firm has units in Gurugram and Chennai where the drones will be manufactured, he added.
It has announced Drone as a Service – DAAS – to help Indian farmers and the agriculture industry to maximise profit.
The drones will be used for spraying of insecticides, pesticides, applying fertilisers, among others.
The firm said it’s DAAS model will help farmers save up to 80% water usage and consume 90% less pesticides.
The Kisan Drones will be equipped with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and GPS sensors to help farmers with accurate and real time information about their farms and crops. It can also help farmers with surveillance and mapping system, the firm said.