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Majority stake in drone startup Dhaksha acquired by agri-solution provider Coromandel

Coromandel International Limited, a provider of agricultural solutions, plans to purchase Dhaksha, a producer of drones powered by gasoline intended for use in agricultural spraying operations.

According to the filings, Coromandel is purchasing a further 32.68% stake in Dhaksha through its wholly owned subsidiary, Coromandel Technology Limited (CTL), for a cash payment of Rs 204 crore.

The transaction will probably be finished in the second quarter of FY24.

After the aforementioned transactions are finished, Coromandel will own 51.02% of Dhaksha. Through its investment company Dare Ventures Limited, Coromandel acquired 18.34% of Daksha in September 2022. This ownership interest will be transferred at cost to Coromandel Technology Limited.

Dhaksha’s drone platform will be worth approximately Rs 624 crore ($76 million) as a result of the acquisition. Notably, Coromandel International’s investment arm Coromandel International owns both Coromandel Technology Limited and Dare Venture.

Dhaksha, a 2019 startup, offers a variety of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology solutions for use in enterprise, surveillance, and agriculture sectors. Additionally, it provides remote pilot training services and has so far trained over 950 pilots.

It asserts that it is the only company in the nation to have obtained type certificates from the DGCA for three drone models in the medium and small sizes for use in agriculture and surveillance. In addition to operating in the electric drone market, it is the only company in India to provide type-certified hybrid agri drones powered by a petrol engine.

As part of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) program, which seeks to increase drone and drone component production in India, Dhaksha was chosen. Dhaksha had a revenue of Rs. 4.52 crore in FY22.

By making this investment, Coromandel is able to establish a presence in the quickly growing UAS market, which is anticipated to grow significantly and reach a global market size of $90 billion by 2030. Following Coromandel’s recent forays into the Specialty Chemicals and Contract Manufacturing (CDMO) industries, this move was made.

Despite the alleged funding crisis, the boom in drone startups is still going strong. One of the most well-funded startups in this field, ideaForge, recently went public. Garuda Aerospace, Omnipresent Robot, and Aereo (previously Aarav Unmanned Systems) are also thinking about going public in the following few years. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a former captain of the Indian cricket team, helped Garuda raise $22 million in a Series A round in February of this year. In FY22, the business also achieved profitability.




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