Indian drone industry flies high
Indian drone industry – With nearly $50 million in investments, the current fiscal year is shaping up to be the best year yet for India’s fledgling drone industry.
Drone start-ups received $49.7 million in funding across 20 rounds in FY2022-23, compared to $25 million in funding across 23 rounds in FY2021-22. According to Tracxn Technologies data, the figure for FY2020-21 was $11.2 million spread across 20 rounds.
Thus, investments in the segment have increased by 300 percent over the last three fiscal years.
“Government policies are one of the primary factors that have led to this investor fervor in the sector,” said Neha Singh, co-founder and CEO of Tracxn Technologies, adding, “Also, 90% of the Indian airspace is now accessible to drone use after the laws and regulations were liberalised in 2021.”
Indian drone industry
Furthermore, as part of the Union Budget 2022 proposals, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Drone Shakti Scheme. The scheme aims to unify the efforts of the drone ecosystem by institutionalizing and creating a structure that allows for synergies among multiple stakeholders.
In the same year, a Rs 120 crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme was also approved for the segment.
In addition, the government’s initiative for atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in defense purchases, as well as drones finding increased use cases in a variety of fields such as surveillance, medicine delivery, food delivery, traffic monitoring, agriculture, and so on, have greatly influenced the industry’s strong investment sentiment,” said Singh.
DroneAcharya, based in Pune, became the first Indian drone player to go public in 2022.
Garuda Aerospace, a multi-utility drone manufacturer, raised $22 million in the Series A round, $17 million of which was raised in February of this year, which is nearly equal to the total funding raised by the Indian drone market in the calendar year 2021.
The Qualcomm-backed drone startup ideaForge filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) for an IPO with markets regulator Sebi in February. The offering consists of a new issue of Rs 300 crore in shares and a sale of 4,869,712 equity shares.
However, many businesses continue to struggle to obtain easy funding.