US-based DroneBase acquires Bengaluru-based AirProbe

Founded in 2017 by Aditya Bhat, Kaustubh Karnataki and Ganesh Shankar, AirProbe uses drone-based thermal imaging to detect faults in solar cells and uses AI for improving their efficiency.
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AirProbe, a Bengaluru-based startup that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) for solar system inspections, was acquired by US-based intelligent aerial imaging company DroneBase for an undisclosed amount last week, according to a release.

Founded in 2017 by Aditya Bhat, Kaustubh Karnataki and Ganesh Shankar, AirProbe uses drone-based thermal imaging to detect faults in solar cells and uses AI for improving their efficiency. 

The deal gives three co-founders exits in the bootstrapped company, which started as a problem-solving exercise in a course that Ganesh taught at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. Aditya and Kaustub will still be part of the company and will oversee operations for DroneBase's Asia-Pacific market. Ganesh, who is also the founder of FluxGen Technologies, has been in an advisory role as Executive Director since 2019. 

The acquisition allows AirProbe to scale. “It will help solve the problem of energy poverty, where we all started and where we wanted to electrify houses,” Ganesh said in a conversation with YourStory. He is optimistic about the future of the company as solar energy gets more adoption. 

Through the deal, DroneBase gets to expand its presence over the Asia-Pacific and Europe markets, and benefit its customers from the Indian startup’s technology. 

“AirProbe's proprietary Artificial Intelligence significantly reduces the amount of time needed to analyze aerial inspection data of solar energy systems by up to 50 percent,” said DroneBase in a release dated December 15. 

"DroneBase solved how to scale solar energy inspections and data capture, and AirProbe solved how to scale solar data analysis with AI," said Dan Burton, CEO of DroneBase said in a statement. 

With the acquisition, DroneBase plans to utilise the opportunity arising out of the growing number and size of solar energy systems.

AirProbe has customers not just in India but across the globe. It counts Indian energy giants such as Tata Power and Renew Power, and European companies such as Juwi Holding and Engie, as its customers 

“India and the APAC region are growing markets for the renewable energy industry,” added Burton. 

The acquisition adds another 22 GW of solar energy systems under inspection to DroneBase’s account, taking the total to more than 59 GW of both wind and solar energy assets under inspection.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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