Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS), a YourStory Tech30 company, has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round led by GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups and Bellwether advisors. Existing investors 3one4 Capital, StartupXseed and angel investor Sanjay Jesrani too participated in this round of funding.
Bengaluru-based AUS designs and develops drone-based solutions for mapping, industrial inspection and precision agriculture using its own proprietary drone technology as well. With this fundraise the AUS team aims to expand its business reach and focus more on R&D.
The team claims to have seen 6x increase in its revenue from last year. Vipul Singh, CEO, AUS said,
The new funding round shall help us penetrate deeper in our existing market, expand to some tough-to-crack and large potential applications in the near future, and establish a roadmap for applications in logistics and urban mobility market, which is our ultimate goal for the long term. We have received a great response from the Indian market in a short span and are confident of having the highest business share in the commercial drone market in India and presence in a couple of more countries by 2019.
Started in 2013 by Vipul, Yeshwanth Reddy and Suhas Banshiwala, AUS was founded with the objective of providing faster, accurate and cost-effective drone-based land surveying solutions. Currently, the company intends to go deeper into the mapping sector and is also looking to expand into the energy sector with its proprietary technology specifically developed for such applications.
Initially incubated at SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre at IIT- Kanpur, the core team at AUS started out with a common interest in aero-modelling and robotics.
“AUS currently develops its own commercial-grade drones and introduced first indigenous PPK-enabled drone- INSIGHT-PPK in India, which is more accurate and two times faster than most commonly used solutions available in the market,” said Vipul.
AUS also provides solutions to the mining, urban planning, roads and railway sectors with 3D mapping and surveying solutions. Drones are a new trend and sweeping the GIS market in India. Many government and private organisations are now having special programmes to integrate drone-based solutions with their conventional GIS requirements.
Shalini Prakash, Venture Partner, 500 Startups India, said,
Drones have the potential to transform the world for the better. AUS is working on several exciting applications for drones and they’re impacting industries in amazing ways by making them smarter and more efficient; we are very excited to be a part of their journey.
It uses photogrammetry, which is the use of photography to glean information like measurement and distances to generate accurate and detailed Digital Elevation Models or 3D representations of the terrain surface, and can transform and change the way decisions are made in multiple sectors. This is where unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be useful.
UAV technology is a high-potential new technology and AUS has entered this sector at the right time. There are multiple use-cases for UAVs, from recreation to defense, and the global market is expected to reach $5.5 billion, according to a MarketsandMarkets research report. However, the technology is evolving daily, and many companies, globally, are emerging in this category. Some of the giants in this sector include DJI, The Boeing Company, and General Atomics.
"Drones have the ability to dramatically reshape the way enterprises work, and bring about significant gains in productivity and efficiency, across a wide variety of sectors. We believe AUS will be at the forefront of creating this impact and are delighted to join them on this journey," said Sheetal Bahl, MD, GrowX Ventures.