Grip, an alternative investment platform, announced on March 15, 2022, that it had become India’s first company to provide lease financing opportunities in drones to retail investors.
Grip and Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) entered into a first-of-its-kind lease financial deal worth INR 3.75 crore that paves the way for retail investors to invest in the growing drone ecosystem in India.
Further, Grip also unlocks a new revenue stream for promising businesses in India’s drone segment by leveraging lease financing options.
A first-of-its-kind deal that allows retail investors to invest in the drone market
AUS is the first Indian company to develop professional drone solutions for enterprises and get a small category drone certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India. The company was established in 2013 and has mapped more than 5 million acres, 15000 villages, and 35 cities.
It has covered more than 250 mines and 350 stockyards for mining, metal, and power companies like Tata Steel, Hindalco, Coal India, etc. Under this deal, Grip will enable AUS to build new revenue streams by leveraging lease financing for more than 50 drones.
Nikhil Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, Grip, said, “India’s commercial drone market has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years, witnessing growing adoption across several verticals such as mining, filming and photography, and agriculture in the country.”
“We’re super excited to facilitate a first-of-its-kind lease financing deal to help scale India’s drone segment. AUS is a leading company in drone manufacturing and provides services like surveying, mining, mapping, etc. We are committed to establishing Grip as a platform that provides alternative sources of capital for high-growth companies like AUS,” added Nikhil Aggarwal.
Drone sector burgeoning in India
AUS offers end-to-end integrated solutions for drone applications, providing the drone, an operator and a cloud platform for data analysis. The company is profitable and has seen tremendous growth in revenue – 250 percent annually for the past three years.
It is currently the leading player with the highest market share in the commercial drone market in India. It is one of the three companies whose product has been shortlisted to map India’s 6 lakh villages by the Government of India.
Vipul Singh, CEO and Co-founder, AUS, said, “Drones are fast becoming a vehicle of development and financial inclusion in India. Our drones are making an impact on some of the largest mining & metal brands and large-scale infrastructure players in India, including Tata Steel, Hindalco, NTPC, Coal India, and others.”
“We are also a key player for the SVAMITVA scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, for the digitization of land records in rural India. The drone sector is growing in leaps and bounds, and we are happy to partner with Grip to provide this investment opportunity to retail investors,” said Singh.
Indian government policies providing impetus to the domestic drone sector
The development comes on the heels of the Indian Finance Minister emphasizing the positive role being played by the drones in the Digital India vision and further announced the launch of the Drone Shakti program to promote the development, usage, and impact of drone technology on primarily Rural India.
India’s drone segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4 percent by 2025 and reach a value of $5 billion. Mapping and surveying hold the majority of revenue share due to drones’ high accuracy and quality with relatively less manpower and low cost.
Additionally, government initiatives such as the Make in India, which promotes the domestic manufacturing of drones, are fueling the growth of the commercial drone market in India.