Malaysia’s Aerodyne raises US$30 mil in Series B as it charts IPO in 2022/23

  • CEO projects next funding round to be in 12 to 18 months time, with IPO in 2022/23
  • A key company under MDEC’s Global Acceleration Innovation Network (GAIN)

(From left): Raymond Hor, Kejora Partners Malaysia, Chung-Hee Woo CEO, InterVest, Nizam Mohd Reza, Head of Value Creation, VentureTECH, Azita Azizan, ED, Aerodyne Group, Kamarul A Muhamed, CEO & Founder, Aerodyne Group, Amin Shafie, Partner, Intres Capital, Jamaludin Bujang, MD, Gobi Partners Malaysia), Ahmad Redzuan Sidek, Chief Investment Officer, VentureTECH and Khairul Mohd Khairi, Partner, Gobi Partners.

Aerodyne Group, a global drone-based managed solutions provider with its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has announced a US$30 million Series B investment round. The investment comes on the heels of a major deal Aerodyne signed with Japan Infrastructure Waymark for drone-based services for infrastructure management, both within Japan and on behalf of overseas-based Japanese companies.

Kamarul A Muhamad, Aerodyne’s founder and chief executive officer, tells DNA that the investment gives Aerodyne a 12 to 18 month runaway to further expand globally before it locks in its next funding round. “That then will take us to an expected IPO in 2022 or 2023.” It is too early to decide on where that IPO will be and if it will be a dual market listing as well, he says.

The lead investor for the round are South Korean based VC, InterVest and Indonesian based Kejora Ventures, other investors are VentureTECH, 500 Startups and Gobi Partners.

[Correction: An earlier version mistakenly referred to VentureTECH, 500 Startups and Gobi Partners as existing investors. The error is regretted.] 

“We’ve grown by leaps and bounds since we began in 2014. We’ve been building a business delivering much needed solutions to a raft of companies and with backing from respected investors, at a time of drone industry consolidation, which is a testament to our strength, growth prospects and the opportunities ahead.”

“We welcome our strategic investors in this Series B round, and look forward to working together on our exciting journey ahead. We also thank QuantePhi as the lead advisor for this round.”

CH Woo, CEO of InterVest said, “The drone industry has been developing at breakneck speed, but Aerodyne has found the right balance between advancement of technology and meeting client needs. We are excited to be able to provide Kamarul and his team with the funding capital needed to underpin the continued development of technology, business solutions and human capacity to drive Aerodyne’s sustained global growth trajectory.“

VentureTECH’s Managing Director, Dr. Norida Abd. Rahman emphasised the investment company’s role saying, “As a strategic impact investor, our investment is centered on the socioeconomic footprint and commercial strength of Aerodyne’s business as well as the emerging industry it is in. VentureTECH sees the drone industry as a platform industry with high potential to produce spillover effect to the local economy such as creation of high-skilled employment, intensifying R&D activities, and increasing overall high-value economic activities. We hope to materialise these potentials by providing the growth capital and working collectively with Aerodyne and the other Series B investors.”

 

Rapid growth since bursting on to the scene

Since it first burst into the scene, the 5-year old drone-as-a-service (DaaS) Aerodyne had rapidly scaled up to having a presence in 25 countries through a combination of acquisitions and joint ventures with local market players.

Six months after establishing its presence in India, Kamarul says the country is already delivering “really good numbers” for Aerodyne and with 30 people, has become its largest operating base, outside of Malaysia. “India is very exciting for us and we have a number of exciting pilots running as well.”

The company has also shot up the ranks of global drone service providers and was recently ranked third globally by Drone Industry Insights in its 2019 Drone Service Provider Ranking.

Aerodyne specializes in delivering AI-driven, drone-based enterprise-integrated managed solutions to the Oil & Gas, Power, Telecoms, Renewables, Construction, Agriculture and Infrastructure industries.

Aerodyne is also a key company under the Global Acceleration Innovation Network (GAIN) programme initiated by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in 2014, which assists a select group of Malaysian-based companies to scale up globally.

According to Kamarul, proceeds from the investment will be used to undertake select M&As, further invest in R&D and technology, hire talent globally and continue to expand into Aerodyne’s key global markets such as Japan, India, US, and the Middle East.

“We are looking for talent that can help us scale globally and has a global mindset,” he says with four recent senior hires made, including a chief data scientist.

 
 
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