Bengaluru-based drone startup Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) has raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series A funding round from GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups, and BellWether Advisors. The round also saw the participation of existing investors StartupXseed, 3ONE4 Capital and Sanjay Jesrani, aided by ValPro’s ‘Enablers’.
The proceeds from the round will be used for expanding the company’s reach and furthering R&D activities.
AUS is a drone technology startup that offers solutions for commercial application of drones to enterprises, using its indigenously developed proprietary technology.
Commenting on the fundraise, Sheetal Bahl, MD of GrowX Ventures said, “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
Based out of Delhi, GrowX Ventures is an early-stage investment firm based that works closely with investee firms at both strategic and operational levels to drive scale. So far, it has invested in 23 companies including Mad Street Den, Quandl, Ziploan, and Locus.sh, among others.
Last year, in August, GrowX also led a $750K funding round in healthtech IoT startup Doxper.
Speaking of the Pre-Series A investment in the drone technology startup, Shalini Prakash, Venture Partner at 500 Startups India added, “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.”
500 Startups is a California-headquartered VC seed fund with a network of startup programmes across the globe. Its portfolio companies include legaltech startup SpotDraft, mobile payments platform FTCash, among others.
Earlier, in January 2018, AUS was one of the many Indian drone companies that demanded amendments to the government’s draft regulations on the use of UAVs. The Civil Aviation Ministry issued the draft stating the rules and guidelines pertaining to the use of drones in November last year.
An Overview Of Aarav Unmanned Systems: From 2013 To Present
Founded in 2013, AUS is led by Vipul Singh, Suhas Banshiwala, and Yeshwanth Reddy. AUS provides cost-effective drone-based land surveying solutions. The startup was initially incubated at the SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) at IIT-Kanpur, where a common interest in aero-modeling and robotics brought the AUS team together.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, AUS currently develops its own commercial grade drones. The company introduced the first indigenous PPK-enabled drone – INSIGHT-PPK – in India. According to the founders, the PPK drone is three times more accurate and two times faster than most commonly used solutions available in the market.
With the aim of building the future of drones and their applications in the enterprise space, AUS offers high-value engineering solutions to enterprises across GIS (geographic information system) surveying/mapping, industrial inspection and precision agriculture.
By providing accurate 3D representations of the terrain surface, it can transform and change the way decisions are made in agriculture through its solutions to optimise irrigation, fertilisation, pesticide distribution and early failure warnings.
The company plans to penetrate deeper into the mapping sector and intends to expand in the energy sector this year with its proprietary technology specifically developed for such applications.
Earlier in February 2016, the drone technology startup raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from StartupXseed Ventures, The Phoenix Fund, and other investors.
Talking about the latest fundraise from GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups and others, Vipul Singh, CEO of AUS said in an official statement, “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 long-term goal.”
“AUS has received a great response from the Indian market in a very short span, and is confident of becoming the dominant player in the commercial drone market in India, and presence in a couple of more countries, by 2019. And as we embark on this growth phase, we are delighted to have GrowX, 500 Startups, and BellWether join us,” he added.
As claimed by Singh, AUS has seen a six-fold growth in its revenues over the last one year.
In India, Mumbai-based ideaForge is another startup known for manufacturing the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It raised $10 Mn as part of its Series A investment in 2016.
In October 2017, Amazon filed a patent to introduce drones in India for delivery services. The company filed a patent for exclusive rights on multi-scale fiducials, which are black and white markings on objects for unmanned aerial vehicles to identify them from a distance.
Other startups in the space include Quidich Innovation Labs, Asteria Aerospace and Indrones. How AUS utilises the latest funding from GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups and others will be interesting to watch.