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India’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market is estimated to at $2.1 billion in FY22. But the market is expected to grow at an unprecedented pace, with defence, logistics among other sectors, taking center stage in drones. And the IPO of DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations, just testified to that expected future growth, as the company’s shres debuted at a 90% premium on Indian stock exchange BSE.

Friday marks a monumental day in the history of India’s UAV market – which is expected to expand to $50 billion over the next 15 years – after DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations clocked a spectacular debut in the stock markets and listed at a premium of nearly 90% – becoming the first Indian drone startup to do so.

Coming at a time when the stocks of numerous companies have been hit hard and valuations have fallen, DroneAcharya Aerial proved to be a pleasant change after it made its debut in the public markets trading at ₹102 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday. Later in the day, the scrip rose to ₹107 apiece, marking an overall premium of 98% from the public issue price of ₹52-54 per share.

The dream debut of the homegrown drone startup comes after its ₹33 crore initial public offer (IPO) was heavily oversubscribed with bids worth ₹6017 crores in the past week. The retail portion was subscribed 330.75 times from 13-15th December, when the bidding was going on. As for the non-institutional investor category (NII), it was subscribed 388.71 times, while the qualified institutional buyer (QIB) portion was subscribed 46.21 times. The shares of the startup, which counts the backing of Bollywood celebs Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, also witnessed a grey market premium (GMP) of ₹54.

DroneAcharya was founded by Prateek Shrivastava five years ago and is known to offer drone solutions for surveys, pilot training, data processing, and more. For now, it aims to raise around ₹34 crores through the issuance of new shares and offer 62.90 lakh shares. The fresh capital will be utilized towards the purchase and manufacturing of drones, sensors, and processing infrastructure, as it plans to expand its offerings to offer land and underwater surveying services and even commence the manufacturing of customized, 100% indigenous drones. It also received a Remote Pilot Training Organization (RPTO) license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and till this March, has successfully trained over 180 drone pilots.

The startup has already nabbed ₹54 crores from anchor investors ahead of the IPO as it allocated a total of 17.90 lakh equity shares to 4 anchor investors at ₹54 apiece. The investors are Aegis Investment Fund (which got 3.72 lakh shares), Maven India Fund (5.72 lakh shares), Nav Capital VCC-NAV Capital Emerging Star Fund (3.96 lakh shares), and Zinnia Global Fund (4.50 lakh shares).