home Uncategorized Coromandel International’s VC Arm Invests In Drone Startup Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Chetan Thathoo

Coromandel International’s VC Arm Invests In Drone Startup Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Chetan Thathoo

Agri-solutions provider Coromandel International on Wednesday (September 14) said that its venture capital (VC) arm Dare Ventures has invested in Chennai-based drone startup Dhaksha Unmanned Systems.

However, it didn’t disclose the amount of stake it has acquired and other financial details of the deal.

The drone startup will use the funding to shore up talent acquisition and scale up its production facilities. Dhaksha will also use the investment to foster innovation and focus more on research and development (R&D), Coromandel said in a regulatory filing.

Coromandel will leverage Dhaksha’s deeptech capabilities to complement its agrochemical and agri solutions business. The startup’s product line will enable Coromandel to offer targeted products and deploy drones for spraying insecticides and pesticides on the farms.

“Our investment in Dhaksha underscores Coromandel’s commitment to help Indian farmers access (the) latest technologies in agriculture. We believe drones will be a game changer in increasing the adoption of water-soluble fertilisers, liquid fertilisers, nano fertilisers, in addition to the crop protection products in India,” Dare Ventures director Sameer Goel said.

Building on the announcement, the conglomerate plans to soon launch the ‘Drone as a Service’ model in India to cater to the growing agritech arena.

Reacting to the announcement, Dhaksha’s director and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramanathan Narayanan said, “We are excited to partner with Dare Ventures. I am confident this will help us create several milestones in the drone industry, deliver world-class drones, offer exceptional support to customers across India and make the company a frontrunner in realising the government’s vision of making India a ‘Global Hub’ for Drones.”

Incorporated in 2019, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems primarily operates in the deeptech space and offers drone-base solutions across multiple sectors including agriculture, mining, defence and surveillance. 

The startup has seven drones as part of its product line and manufactures both battery-operated and petrol-engine based drones. 

Dare Ventures is the VC arm of agrochemical giant Coromandel International and is largely focused on early to growth stage startups operating in the agriculture sector. 

Rising Interest In Drone Space

Dhaksha has slowly emerged as one of the key players in the Indian drone industry. It was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing drones and drone components in the country.

The eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme include an annual sales turnover of at least INR 2 Cr for drone companies. 

Dhaksha’s product line will enable Coromandel to offer targeted products and deploy drones for spraying insecticides and pesticides on the farms.

The drone space has been seeing a lot of interest in India, with many deep-pocketed conglomerates entering the space. In the past few months, behemoths such as Reliance and Adani have highlighted their plans to capture the market. 

The government, on its part, has also left no stone unturned to spur the fledgling homegrown drone industry. In a major push, it banned imports of drones in February, albeit with certain caveats, and later went on an overdrive with regards to reforms in the space.

From amending Drones Rules, 2021 to notifying the drone certification scheme, the government has gone all out to spur drone manufacturing and simplify drone certification. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has also abolished remote pilot licence mandatory for flying drones and has authorised training schools to issue certificates for drone pilots. 

In her Budget speech this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for leveraging ‘Drone Shakti’ and urged startups to develop more products for the agritech space. 

Last month, it was reported that the government was developing a procurement framework for usage of commercial UAVs and drones. 

Recently, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) requested the government to constitute an inter-ministerial panel on drones and counter-drones to address existing issues plaguing the drone industry.

The drone manufacturing arena is largely led by the US, China and Israel. India still continues to play catch up with these players and had 4.25% share in the estimated $28.47 Bn market at the end of financial year 2021-22 (FY22).

The post Coromandel International’s VC Arm Invests In Drone Startup Dhaksha Unmanned Systems appeared first on Inc42 Media.

Agri-solutions provider Coromandel International on Wednesday (September 14) said that its venture capital (VC) arm Dare Ventures has invested in… NewsInc42 Media

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