Dare Ventures, the venture capital arm of Coromandel International Limited, has invested an undisclosed amount in the Chennai-based drone startup, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Private Limited. The startup plans to use the funding for talent acquisition and research and development and to increase production.
Dhaksha Director and CEO Ramanathan Narayanan told The Hindu, “Our current capacity is 250-300 drones a month and we intend to scale this up to 1,000 a month in another year. We have a facility at Ambattur and we are looking at expanding within Chennai.”
CTO Krishna Kumar said the focus would be on bringing drone technology solutions to the agriculture and defence sectors.
Dhaksha provides a complete range of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology solutions for application in agriculture, defence, surveillance and delivery, among other sectors. In addition to having developed the capability to make battery-operated drones, Dhaksha claims to be the only company in India to manufacture petrol engine-based drones.
Sameer Goel, Director, Dare Ventures Limited, and Managing Director, Coromandel International Limited, said, “Our investment in Dhaksha underscores Coromandel’s commitment to helping Indian farmers access the latest technologies in agriculture. We believe drones will be a game changer in increasing the adoption of water-soluble fertilizers, liquid fertilizers and nano fertilizers, in addition to the crop protection products in India.”
Coromandel, part of the ?547-billion (?54,722 crore) Murugappa Group, has been deploying new-age agritech solutions for Indian farmers. The company has earlier partnered Dhaksha to pilot the drone-based nutrient and crop protection applications.
Since inception, Dare Ventures Limited has been focussing on investing in early and growth stage startups engaged in providing technology-driven solutions to complex and long-term problems in the agriculture and allied sectors. In June this year, it invested in Ecozen, a startup which develops climate-smart deep-tech solutions and core technology stacks to deliver a sustainable future, including motor controls, IoT, and energy storage. It also funded the Bengaluru-based bio-tech startup String Bio in July.