Aerodyne takes majority stake in Brazil’s leading drone inspection player, Grupo DR1

  • Drone market in Brazil, largest in Latin America, worth US$582mil in 2030
  • Aerodyne CEO: Synergy gained creates value that's greater than sum of parts

(From left) Amir Zakwan Anuar, Aerodyne’s Chief Strategy Officer, Mateus Santos, Grupo DR1 CEO, Kamarul A Muhamad, Aerodyne’s Founder and Group CEO, and Azita Azizan, Aerodyne’s Group Chief Governance Officer.

Observers of global drone services leader, Aerodyne Group, must have been wondering what was up at the fast growing Southeast Asian startup. The rapid pace at which it was cutting M&A deals seemed to have slowed down this year.

Turns out they were working on a number of M&As at the same time which took time to sort out. But today, Kamarul Muhamad, founder and CEO of Aerodyne has announced a major deal with Aerodyne Group acquiring a controlling interest in Grupo DR1, one of the leading professional drone operators and service providers in Brazil which claims a 90% market share in offshore drone inspections in Brazil with national oil company, Petrobras a major customer.

“It is an all cash deal,” Kamarul tells DNA, with the prospects of further expanding Aerodyne’s global footprint to Latin American through Grupo DR1, which currently operates in Brazil.

According to Drone Industry Insights, the drone market in Brazil is the largest in Latin American and worth US$373 million (RM1.65 billion) in 2022, rising to US$582 million (RM2.57 billion) in 2030 with a 8.1% CAGR from 2022 to 2030.

While establishing a market presence in the world’s 9th largest economy with a nominal GDP of US$1.9 trillion is exciting enough, Kamarul teases with more M&A to be announced. “Stay tuned, we have three more M&A announcements in the near future. I'm very excited!”

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Grupo DR1 has established a strong track record servicing major clients in multiple sectors including oil and gas, and mining. Grupo DR1’s existing management team, led by CEO Mateus Santos and COO Ricardo Santos, will continue to lead the company and remain as co-shareholders.

Mateus expressed excitement on leveraging Aerodyne’s global footprint and expertise in data technology and digital transformation. “We are pleased to welcome this investment and in being a strategic partner of Aerodyne Group. This partnership will allow us to offer the most innovative and differentiated value proposition for our clients, enabling Grupo DR1 to expand its wings not only in new verticals but also increase depth of technology solutions with existing clients.”

Describing the drone market as consolidating, Kamrul said no convincing was needed to persuade the founders of Grupo DR1. “It's mutual interest. There is strength in size and unity.  The synergy we could gain being together creates value that's greater than the sum of parts.”

He adds that Aerodyne carefully selects its MA& partners based on their strong leadership and control of local market where they operate in.

The acquisition also serves as a regional platform to launch Aerodyne’s new technology and solutions in precision agriculture, advanced air mobility, and remote and autonomous drone-based solutions.

“This partnership capitalises on the strengths of both parties and creates a synergy towards the advancement of the industry in Latin America,” Kamarul said.


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