ideaForge Invests in GalaxEye to Develop Advanced Drone-Based Sensors

According to a recent report from INC42, Indian drone manufacturer ideaForge has acquired a stake in Bengaluru-based spacetech startup GalaxEye Space. This strategic investment aims to enhance ideaForge's capabilities in developing drone-based sensors for fog and foliage penetration.

The Investment Details

ideaForge announced on July 10, 2024, that it has entered into a Share Subscription Agreement with GalaxEye Space Solutions Private Limited. The deal involves acquiring Series A Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares for a total consideration of ₹8,28,72,720 (approximately $9.9 million).

Collaborative Drone Development

This investment follows a reported agreement between ideaForge and GalaxEye to jointly develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with Foliage Penetration Radar. The collaboration aims to combine ideaForge's expertise in drone manufacturing with GalaxEye's multi-sensor imaging technology.

About the Companies

Founded in 2007, ideaForge specializes in manufacturing UAV systems for various applications, including inspection, surveillance, and mapping. Their drones serve sectors such as defense, homeland security, mining, construction, and agriculture.

GalaxEye, established in 2021, focuses on providing multi-sensor imagery via satellites. The startup claims to be developing the world's first multi-sensor imaging satellite, aimed at offering geospatial analyses to governments, defense, and industries.

Market Impact and Future Plans

ideaForge's stock saw a positive response to the news, with shares trading 2.7% up at ₹816 ($9.76) on the BSE following the announcement.

The investment in GalaxEye aligns with ideaForge's recent expansion efforts, including:

  • Increasing its ESOP pool size for employees
  • Exploring entry into the U.S. market to capitalize on the demand for non-Chinese drones

Financial Performance

Despite a 30% decline in consolidated profit after tax in Q4 FY24, ideaForge reported a significant increase in operating revenue:

  • Q4 FY24 operating revenue: ₹102.3 crore ($12.24 million)
  • 12.5% quarter-on-quarter increase
  • 164% year-on-year jump from Q4 FY23

Pendapat DroneXL

This partnership between ideaForge and GalaxEye represents a significant step forward in innovation. The development of advanced sensors for fog and foliage penetration could revolutionize drone applications in challenging environments, particularly for defense and security operations.

As the continues to evolve, collaborations like this demonstrate the potential for integrating space-based imaging technologies with UAV platforms. This trend aligns with the growing interest in multi-modal sensing capabilities, which can provide more comprehensive and accurate data for various industries.

The investment also highlights the rapid growth of 's spacetech sector, with over 100 startups registered with ISRO last year. As the global drone market expands, we can expect to see more cross-sector partnerships driving innovation in aerial and space-based technologies.

Photo credit INC42.


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