Aerodyne’s Series B not just about money, but boosting tech prowess & accelerating global expansion
By Karamjit Singh February 5, 2020
- Locking investors cum strategic partners is part of an aggressive global strategy
- Aerodyne CEO expects deepening of its AI-enabled automation and machine learning
Almost four months after it announced its Series B funding of US$30 million, Aerodyne Group, a leading global provider of drone-based enterprise solutions has announced the second close of that round with three more investors, North Summit Capital from China, Arc Ventures based in India and Leave a Nest from Japan, joining the five announced last Oct.
What’s significant about this group, Aerodyne’s founder and CEO, Kamarul Mahmud, tells DNA, is that these three are strategic investors helping Aerodyne deepen its global reach while strengthening its technological capabilities.
“We welcome our new investors to the Aerodyne family. We firmly believe that together, we will be able to make the next technological leap, and be well positioned to capitalise on the growth of China, India and Japan, whose combined 2030 GDP is forecasted at US$117.7 trillion (RM483.8 trillion).”
For instance, where Aerodyne has already expanded to Japan through its previous investors, it is now strengthening its position there through a partnership with Leave a Nest, an entity that connects startups, research institutes and companies to create new businesses or explore new frontiers.
Meanwhile, in China, Kamarul has built a partnership with North Summit Capital to penetrate that lucrative market and extend Aerodyne’s technological edge. What’s notable about North Summit Capital is the background of its founder, Dr Min Wanli (pic, right) who previously was the vice president and chief machine intelligence scientist of Alibaba Cloud. Min also has had stints at IBM and Google.
“North Summit Capital is excited to co-lead Aerodyne’s Series B investment alongside other value-oriented strategic investors. We see great potential in Aerodyne's large-scale data capture and analytics solutions to global critical infrastructure and related sectors. Hence, to supercharge its growth, we will help Aerodyne beef up its service efficiency by injecting DT (Data Technology) into product development,” said Min.
In India, Aerodyne is partnering with Arc Ventures, which is cofounded by Arjun Aggarwal and Cibi K Chandran. Arc Ventures has a pan-India footprint and an extensive workforce – welcome assets to Aerodyne’s growing requirements. India is a hugely diverse country and requires deep domain knowledge that Arc Ventures offers for optimum market penetration.
Arjun (pic, below) states, “Arc Ventures recognizes the impressive journey Aerodyne has witnessed since its conception. We welcome the common goal to establish the world’s leading drone solutions provider. India is set to be the second largest world economy. It is our endeavor to capitalize on both the tremendous domestic market and the many critical cost advantages that India offers.”
Aerodyne’s aggressive moves overseas has made it a darling of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDEC) GAIN Programme with MDEC CEO, Surina Shukri commending Aerodyne, for being an exemplary homegrown tech firm that is capable of deploying state-of-the-art drone-based solutions across vast industrial sectors, globally. “This latest expansion into China and India is a momentous achievement for not only the organisation but the nation as a whole,” lauded Surina.”
Lining up investors who are also key strategic partners is in line with Aerodyne’s aggressive global expansion strategy of investing heavily in data technology advancement. The goal is to propel the company’s vision to become the world’s leading drone-powered asset management solutions provider.
Kamarul expects the partnership with North Summit Capital to contribute towards the deepening of Aerodyne’s AI-enabled automation and machine learning capabilities into current solutions and offerings, cloud computing ecosystem, DT^2, as well as expedite research and development iterations and resolve service efficiency bottleneck. The latter is a key prerequisite for Aerodyne’s ambitious global market expansion plan.
Today, the Malaysian-headquartered, five-year-old Aerodyne is ranked third globally by Drone Industry Insights in its 2019 Drone Service Provider Ranking.
Aerodyne currently has a presence in 25 countries and delivers AI-driven, drone-based enterprise-integrated managed solutions to the Oil & Gas, Power, Telecoms, Renewables, Construction, Agriculture and Infrastructure industries. Besides global expansion via strategic key partnerships, select M&As and data technology advancement, proceeds from the said Series B investment round will also be used to hire talent globally and continue to expand into Aerodyne’s key global markets such as Japan, US, Latin America, Europe and Middle East.