Domestic drone entrepreneurs got $39.1 million in equity capital in 2022, more than double the $17.5 million raised in 2021. In 2022, global financing in the drone sector increased by 7.1% to $3 billion.
In terms of funding, India’s drone industry had a banner year in 2022, buoyed by favourable government rules, expanding use cases, and the sector’s maiden public offering.
Despite this, the country’s adoption of drones remains limited, owing in part to the high prices of equipment and training.
Domestic drone entrepreneurs got $39.1 million in equity capital in 2022, more than double the $17.5 million raised in 2021.
To be sure, growth was strong in 2021, at 90%, but from a lesser base of $9.2 million in 2020.
The number of financing rounds remained nearly constant in 2022, at 21, compared to 23 in 2021, but higher than 11 in 2020. In comparison, global financing in the drone sector increased by 7.1% to $3 billion in 2022, up from $2.8 billion in 2021.
A year ago, funding increased by more than doubled from $1.1 billion in 2020.
The Indian government has made a determined effort to promote the drone business, introducing a specific drone strategy last year with an emphasis on local production and incentives for drones-as-a-service in crucial areas such as farming, healthcare, logistics, defence, and e-commerce.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced Drone Shakti in February 2022, a project to make the country a drone centre by 2030.
Droneacharya Aerial Innovations became the first Indian drone firm to go public late last year. According to the government policy think tank NITI Aayog, India’s UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) industry is expected to grow to $50 billion over the next 15 years, since drones are expected to replace 80% of manned aircraft operations.
Drone startups are attempting to increase adoption.
Garuda Aerospace, a Chennai-based indigenous drone manufacturing and operations firm, announced the first of 1,000 planned drone centres of excellence (CoE) for drone skilling across India on December 6.
In an interview, Garuda Aerospace CEO Agnishwar Jayaprakash stated that these centres will be established within the next three months and that 100,000 drone pilots will be trained by next year. For the time being, the sector is still in its infancy, despite the potential for enormous expansion in the future.
The expense of drones and a lack of viable commercial drone projects, according to Nar, who operates an enthusiast drone training institution called Drone School India, are among the primary causes for the lack of jobs.
According to Karan Kamdar, CEO of Mumbai-based drone company 1 Martian Way and president of India Drone Racing League, local drones might be up to four times more expensive than international standard drones like those made by Chinese drone manufacturer DJI.
He also stated that because only domestic drones with a Unique Identification Number (UIN) are permitted in India, the cost of Indian-made drones may have an influence on adoption.