Reliance acquired a 23.3% stake in Exyn Technologies Inc for $25 Mn via a subsidiary, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited
RSBVL and Exyn have inked a strategic partnership agreement for technology collaboration and commercialisation of Exyn’s technology
In 2019, Reliance acquired a 51% stake in Bengaluru-based drone startup Asteria Aerospace, which recently received a ‘Type Certificate’ from DGCA
Reliance Industries Limited has acquired a 23.3% stake in US-based automation startup Exyn Technologies Inc for $25 Mn via Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), its wholly-owned subsidiary.
In its regulatory filing, Reliance said that RSBVL and Exyn have inked a strategic partnership agreement for technology collaboration and commercialisation of Exyn’s technology.
Founded in 2014 in Delaware, Exyn is an automation startup which has pioneered multi-platform robotic autonomy for complex, GPS-denied environments. The company’s full-stack solution enables the deployment of single or multi-robots that can navigate or adapt to complex environments in real time.
Exyn enables drones or robots to navigate difficult terrains without GPS or other navigation technologies. The technology could be useful for India’s up-and-coming drone startup ecosystem, as navigation without GPS can increase the deployability of drones significantly.
For the calendar year 2021 (CY21), Exyn recorded a turnover of $4.32 Mn. Reliance added in the announcement that the investment would have synergies with its investments and strategic initiatives in drones, industrial safety & security and robotics.
This will also help accelerate Exyn’s product and technology development across multiple application areas and commercialisation, according to the conglomerate.
This is not the first time Reliance has invested in a drone startup. In 2019, Reliance acquired a 51% stake in Bengaluru-based drone startup Asteria Aerospace. Asteria makes drone platforms for military, paramilitary and police forces, while also developing platforms for other industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, mining and construction.
Earlier this year, Asteria received the ‘Type Certificate’ from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its drones. Type certification is a mandatory document for startups to receive from the DGCA before their drones can be operated under the Drone Rules, 2021.
Talking of synergies within the Reliance group companies, its telecom arm Jio has also been using drones for tower surveillance and maintenance, with drones supplied by Asteria Aerospace.
The stake acquired in Exyn and the strategic partnership penned might help Reliance and Asteria deploy the non-GPS navigation technology developed by the Pennsylvania-headquartered startup to develop a class of automated drones.
These drones could adapt to their environments in real time and carry out operations without the need for human intervention.
New Delhi has been pushing for increased focus on the development of drones within the country for several use cases, ranging from border security to agriculture.
Last year, the government brought the new Drone Rules, 2021 and launched the Digital Sky initiative for the operations of drones. Earlier in December, the government approved the INR 120 Cr production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drone manufacturing in India.