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Aerodyne secures US$30m in investment bridging round led by Petronas

PETALING JAYA: Aerodyne Group has raised US$30 million (RM137 million) as part of its latest bridging round, the latest capital infusion for the well-financed drone service provider.

Aerodyne’s long-time client Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), via its corporate venture capital arm Petronas Ventures, has led the funding round which also included a follow-on investment by KWAP, who initially invested in the group back in 2020.

Founded in 2014, Aerodyne is a DT3 (drone tech, data tech, and digital transformation) drone-based enterprise solutions provider, and a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as an enabling technology for large-scale data operations, analytics and process optimisation with a presence in 35 countries.

The funds will be used to support Aerodyne’s further expansion into European, African, Latin American and South Asian territories, as well as investment into technology acquisition to further deepen Aerodyne’s technology edge and launch Aerodyne’s entry into the advanced air mobility space.

Aerodyne’s flagship precision agriculture solution is powered by in-house developed AI capabilities, with more than 300,000 secured effective hectarage for major industry players in Malaysia. Part of the funds will be utilised to support Aerodyne’s agriculture scaling up efforts and bringing this solution into Indonesia and India.

A large scale commercialisation plan for Aerodyne’s advanced air mobility solution is also already underway. This solution includes the use of heavy lifter drones, which can replace the more costly traditional methods and is well-suited for oil & gas operations such as shore-to-platform and platform-to-platform deliveries. This also accelerates large logistic operations such as delivery of medical supplies in rural areas, and potentially in urban air mobility where fast and cost-effective mode of transportation can be provided in near future.

A memorandum of collaboration was signed on April 21 between Aerodyne Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Aerodyne Group and Petronas’ technology commercialisation arm Petronas Technology Ventures, to explore opportunities for deployment and commercialisation of drone-based solutions, as well as enabling remote and autonomous operations through the expansion of robotics and digitalisation.

Aerodyne founder and group CEO Kamarul A Muhamed said raising US$30 million through this bridging round will allow it to scale even further globally, especially supported by new technology developments.

“We also have plans to raise further capital in near future, amounting to US$100 million to US$200 million to bring Aerodyne Group to the next stage of its growth.”

Petronas Ventures head Arni Laily Anwarrudin said Aerodyne’s technology and solutions are aligned with Petronas Ventures’ investment focus in the space of Future of Facilities.

KWAP chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin said this follow-on investment forms part of its mandate to provide growth capital for local companies to scale up globally.