Garuda Aerospace in talks to close $15 million in Series A funding

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 03, 2020 Published on April 03, 2020

Funds to be used for Covid-19 related city sanitisation projects

Garuda Aerospace, a Chennai-based firm that designs, builds and customises unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for various applications, is in talks to raise $15 million in Series A funding from global investors in exchange for 20 per cent equity. The firm expects to close Series A in two weeks.

Garuda has recently been enlisted by the Tamil Nadu Government to spray disinfectants on public spaces, including hospitals, five- star hotels, markets, government offices and roads across the State for 30 days with its fleet of 300 drones and 500 pilots, in order to stop the community spread of coronavirus.

Since then, the company has received more such orders from various States including Chhattisgarh where work has already begun in its capital city Raipur, and Uttar Pradesh, where work is expected to begin in Varanasi, next week. The Maharashtra and Odisha governments have also contacted the company for the same.

“We have received ₹5 crore worth of coronavirus-related work orders from various State Governments like Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh to spray disinfectants across 750 sq km, 175 sq km and 85 sq km respectively. We have covered 7,500 acres in the last 7 days alone, offering our services at 60 per cent less than our regular rates, at ₹700 per acre,” Agnishwar Jayaprakash, founder and president, Garuda Aerospace, told BusinessLine.

“Our work has attracted the attention of global investors who reached out to us to execute similar work in Spain and the UK with 1,000 drones. I told them, if I have the necessary funds, I will be ready to execute in three weeks. Funding should close in the next two weeks,” he said. The company has raised ₹3.5 crore in seed funding from F&F.

Garuda’s current fleet of 300 drones, which are agricultural drones used to spray fertilisers and pesticides, have been christened CK100 (CoronaKiller100) drones, as they are now being deployed for coronavirus-related work. The drones, attached with payloads, can carry up to 10-15 litres of disinfectants provided by the State Health Departments. The drones along with the pilots will work 12-hour shifts for the next 30 days to keep public places sanitised, roughly covering 6,000 km linear every day. Each drone has the capacity to spray 40 litres of disinfectant daily.

“There are 100 smart cities across India and in order to be smart they need automation. Drones are the new age automation and with three cities under our belt (Raipur, Chennai, Varanasi) already, Garuda will seek to disinfect more of these 100 cities thereby combining two of Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives — Smart Cities + Swachh Bharat = Smart Swachh Bharat using drones,” said Jayaprakash.

Published on April 03, 2020

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