With the promising future of the Indian drone industry, it is unsurprising that the drone market in the country is expected to grow annually at a CAGR of 8.12% between 2023 to 2027. This growth in revenue comes amidst – among other things – the performance and good fortunes of India’s home-grown drone startups, among which Garuda Aerospace has already carved a niche of its own. Now, the Chennai-based drone startup announced that it raised $22 million in Series A funding.

In a statement, the startup revealed that the fresh round of funding came from venture capital firm SphitiCap – which led the funding round – and others. Other participants in the funding round – which is touted to be the largest-ever Series A funding in the drone sector – include other global investors, angel investors, and high net-worth individuals (HNIs) at $5 million. SphitiCap put in a total of $12 million in the homegrown startup, which had earlier grabbed a total of $5 million in a bridge round from an infra-development company, a group of HNI, and angel investors from India, UAE, and Singapore.

In an official statement, the Chennai-based Garuda revealed that it would deploy a fresh round of funds towards fuelling growth and scaling up and expanding its operations. Funds will also be deployed towards the skilling and training of drone pilots in Tier II and III cities, as well as for research and development in drone solutions for the defense sector. It will also dedicate part of the capital towards the manufacturing and exporting of “Made in India Garuda Kisan” drones to several countries and expand its international footprint as it increases the number of dealers and expand the distribution network in rural areas. Moreover, it will help the startup achieve its ambitious objectives, some of which were announced by Agnishwar Jayaprakash, founder and CEO of Garuda Aerospace.

“We are on the path to becoming the 1st ever Drone unicorn start-up in India with receiving great validation from the venture capital firms and Investment communities. We aim to sell 25,000 drones in the next 18 months and are looking forward to exporting 10,000 drones to about 100 countries in the next 15 months,” he said, adding, “After my experience at Davos 2023, it was clear that Garuda Aerospace has the potential to scale globally, by manufacturing more Make in India drones and will help India to become the drone hub of the world by 2030.”. The startup currently boasts a fleet of 400 drones and a team of over 500 pilots across 26 different cities across the South-Asian country.

“Given the evolving preferences and horizontal expansion with the usage of drones in several sectors, there is a vision of promising growth beneficial for both companies,” said Pallav Kumar Singh, Managing Partner, SphitiCap.