Drone startup Garuda Aerospace has raised $22 million in its Series A round led by Venture Capital firm SphitiCap with the participation of other global investors, angels, and HNIs.
The latest round includes a $12 million investment from SphitiCap, whereas other investors and HNIs contributed $5 million. In November 2022, it raised $5 million as part of the current series A round. To date, the drone startup has raised $24 million in funding. Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also invested in it and is the brand ambassador of the company.
The startup will use the funds to scale up, R&D and expand its operation, Garuda said in a press release. A part of funds will also be used for the skilling and training of drone pilots and acquiring more resources for deepening its footprints in tier II and III cities.
Founded in 2015 by Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Garuda Aerospace is a drone-as-a-service (DaaS) startup that designs, manufactures and customizes drones for various use cases such as deliveries, disaster management and agricultural applications, among others. With over 200 team members, Garuda Aerospace claims to have a fleet of 400 drones and over 500 pilots across 26 cities in India.
It claims to have served over 750 clients including TATA, Godrej, Adani, Reliance, L&T, Amazon, Wipro, NHAI and Indian startups such as Swiggy, Flipkart, and Delhivery, among others for various projects. Garuda recently partnered with global giants such as Lockheed Martin, Cognizant, and Elbit Systems.
The company is eying to sell 25,000 drones in the next 18 months and export 10,000 drones to around 100 countries in the coming 15 months.
Recently, Garuda sent its drones to provide support in the ongoing earthquake relief and rescue efforts in Turkey. It was also deployed for delivering medicines and vaccination during covid-19 outbreak in India.
During FY22, Garuda Aerospace’s revenue from operations shot up over 7X to Rs 15.31 crore as compared to Rs 2.13 crore in FY21. It primarily makes revenue from the sale of drones & accessories, surveillance charges and other related services. As per its annual financial statement with the RoC, the company turned profitable and recorded Rs 3.63 crore profits against Rs 53 lakh loss in FY21.
As per media reports, the company is aiming to go public in the next couple of years with Rs 1,000 crore revenue in the balance sheet. Interestingly, some more startups are planning for their IPO in the next couple of years. While ideaForge has already filed its DRHP with SEBI, Aereo (formerly Aarav Unmanned Systems), and Omnipresent Robot are also considering going IPO in the next two years.