Drone startup Garuda Aerospace grew at a rapid clip during FY21 and FY22 as the company’s scale ballooned 17-fold to Rs 15.31 crore during the two fiscal years as compared to Rs 89 lakh in FY20.
The Chennai-based startup also turned profitable in FY22. While we will hold forth on the bottom line later, for now, let’s focus on the revenue streams and expense pattern.
Garuda Aerospace registered 7.2X growth in revenue from operations during the fiscal year ending March 2022 as compared to Rs 2.13 crore in FY21, as per the company’s annual financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.
The company collected over 80% of its operating revenue from surveillance charges and related operating services, amounting to Rs 12.6 crore while the rest Rs 2.7 crore came from the sale of drones and accessories during FY22.
Founded in 2015 by Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Garuda Aerospace is a drone-as-a-service (DaaS) startup that designs, manufactures and customizes Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs or Drones) for various use cases such as deliveries, disaster management agriculture et al.
The company manufactures 30 types of drones and offers 50 types of services, according to its website. It claims to have served over 750 clients including TATA, Godrej, Adani, Reliance, Swiggy, Flipkart, and Amazon among others. It recently partnered with global giants such as Lockheed Martin, Cognizant and Elbit Systems.
With over 200 team members, Garuda Aerospace claims to have a fleet of 400 drones and over 500 pilots across 84 cities in India. The company is eying to sell 25,000 drones in the next 18 months and export 10,000 drones to around 100 countries.
On the lines of scale, the bottom line of the company also flourished in FY22 as it turned profitable. Garuda posted Rs 3.63 crore in profit during the fiscal year against Rs 53 lakh loss in FY21.
Moving to the expenses, cost of materials turned out to be the largest cost for the company, contributing 36% of the total expenses. This cost shot up 12X to Rs 3.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 31 lakh in FY21. Employee benefits expenses accounted for 31% of the total and shot up 3.9X to Rs 3.3 crore during FY22.
Other than this, Garuda also incurred sponsorship, professional and promotional expenses of Rs 1.26 crore, Rs 55 lakh and Rs 13 lakh, respectively, during the fiscal. Overall, its total expenditure inclined 3.9X to Rs 10.51 crore in FY22 in contrast to Rs 2.67 crore in FY21.
On a unit level, Garuda Aerospace spent Re 0.69 to earn a rupee from operations.
As per media reports, the company is aiming to go public in the next couple of years with Rs 1,000 crore revenue. To date, the drone startup has raised $24 million in funding including a Series A round of $22 million in January this year. The company is backed by SphitiCap and other global investors, angels, and HNIs including cricketing icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni.