Garuda Aerospace Sets Sights on Global Expansion, Targets 10,000 Drone Exports by 2025

Garuda Aerospace, a leading player in the drone technology sector, has announced ambitious plans to penetrate international markets by exporting 10,000 drones to approximately 50 countries by 2025. Currently, the Chennai-based firm exports 500-1,000 drones to around five countries. Founder and CEO, Agnishwar Jayprakash, emphasized the potential of developing countries, particularly in agriculture-dominated regions, as significant markets for their drone technology.

The company recently forged a strategic partnership with Spirit Aeronautical Systems, a prominent Greek manufacturer, to enhance its market reach and foster technology exchange. Garuda Aerospace specializes in providing drone solutions across various sectors including agriculture, surveillance and mapping, delivery and logistics, and defense. Notably, it boasts a 55% market share in the agricultural drone sector and holds 25% of the overall drone market in India.

In terms of financial performance, the Series A startup witnessed substantial growth, recording operating revenue of ₹110 crore in FY24, a significant increase from ₹47 crore in FY23, and ₹15.31 crore in FY22, while maintaining profitability over the past three years.

Jayprakash highlighted the company’s focus on profitability, unit economics, and corporate governance, underlining their importance for sustainable growth. Garuda Aerospace currently manufactures over 30 different types of drones and offers more than 50 types of services, catering to diverse needs such as precision agriculture spraying, structural damage inspections, delivery services, and disaster response.

Established in 2015 with a small team, Garuda Aerospace has expanded significantly, currently employing 200 members and operating a fleet of over 400 drones and 500 pilots across 84 cities. The company faces competition from several players in the sector including Aarav Unmanned Systems, ideaForge, DeTech Technologies, and DroneAcharya.

The company’s collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) marked a significant milestone, with Garuda Aerospace providing quadcopter drones designed to withstand extreme conditions, enabling tasks such as surveying, mapping, and sample collection. Additionally, the company’s drones have been instrumental in disaster response efforts across various states in India.

Garuda Aerospace’s focus on the agricultural drone sector aligns with the immense potential in the Indian market, projected to grow at a CAGR of 38.5% and reach $121.43 million by 2030, according to Frost and Sullivan. Their ‘kisan drones’, equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning, offer significant benefits including precision spraying, pesticide and water savings, and crop yield increase, ensuring a sustainable approach to agriculture.

Looking ahead, Garuda Aerospace is in discussions with bankers for a potential IPO and plans to raise a pre-IPO round soon. An IPO would enable the company to expand its operations across India, establish drone hubs, and invest more in research and development, further strengthening its position in the market. According to data from Tracxn, Indian drone startups witnessed a substantial increase in funding, reflecting the growing interest and investment in the sector.

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