DARE VENTURES (VC ARM OF COROMANDEL INTERNATIONAL) INVESTS IN DRONE STARTUP DHAKSHA UNMANNED SYSTEMS
Dare Ventures, the venture capital arm of Coromandel International Limited has announced its third investment this year into a differentiated drone startup, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Private Limited. The company plans to use this funding for talent acquisition, R&D and production scale up.
Dhaksha, one of the forerunners in the drone space in India, provides a complete range of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology solutions for different applications covering agriculture, defence, surveillance and delivery, among others. Based out of Chennai, the company has over the years developed expertise in drone R&D, testing, manufacturing, and customer support. In addition to having developed capability to manufacture battery-operated drones, Dhaksha is the only company in India to manufacture petrol engine-based drones.
The “Agrigator” drone developed by Dhaksha targeting the agriculture industry, helps farmers with the application of fertilizers and crop protection products. Agrigator comes with a 12L spray tank and can cover up to 30-35 acres per day with 8-hour usage. The company’s petrol engine based defence drone “SwarmGator” is a winner of the prestigious “Mehar Baba Swarm Drone Competition” for drone architecture, organised by the Indian Air Force. In partnership with the prestigious Anna University, Dhaksha won this competing against 154 companies. In addition, the company has also developed targeted drones with specific use-case solutions across surveillance, goods delivery and mining.
Commenting on the investment, Mr. Ramanathan Narayanan, Director and CEO of Dhaksha said, “We are excited to partner with Dare Ventures. I am confident this will help us create several milestones in the drone industry, deliver world-class drones, offer exceptional support to customers across India and make the company a frontrunner in realizing the government’s vision of making India a ‘Global Hub’ for Drones.”
Dr. Krishna Kumar, CTO and Alumnus of MIT-Anna University said, “Dhaksha focuses on bringing world-class affordable drone technology solutions in Agriculture and Defence sectors.”
Coromandel, India’s largest private phosphatic fertilizer company has been a pioneer in deploying new age agritech solutions for the benefit of Indian farmers. The company has earlier partnered with Dhaksha drones to undertake several pilot programs of drone-based nutrient and crop protection applications. The company intends to soon launch a first of its kind “Drone as a Service” model in India.
Commenting on their investment, Mr. Sameer Goel, Director, Dare Ventures Ltd., and Managing Director, Coromandel International Limited said “Coromandel is delighted to support Dhaksha in its aim to create a transformational impact on the drone manufacturing industry in India. With its strong research and manufacturing capabilities, we expect Dhaksha to be a leader in the Indian drone manufacturing space in the near future.”
Mr. Sameer Goel also added, “Our investment in Dhaksha underscores Coromandel’s commitment to help Indian farmers access latest technologies in agriculture. We believe drones will be a game changer in increasing the adoption of water-soluble fertilisers, liquid fertilisers, nano fertilisers, in addition to the crop protection products in India.“
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