In a push to enter the technology segment, Mukesh Ambani led conglomerate group Reliance Industries Ltd acquired a majority stake in drone maker Asteria Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. RIL’s wholly-owned subsidiary –Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd. made the acquisition of the European Investment fund –Boundary Holding backed Asteria. Boundary Holding is a European investment fund with presence in Luxembourg and France founded by Rajat Khare, an entrepreneur and investor.
In a stock-exchange filing, RIL has said that it had bought over 51 per cent for around INR 23 crore in Asteria. India’s biggest company by market value also stated that it would invest an additional amount of INR 125 crore in stocking up approximately 87 per cent stakes. RIL also added that further achievements are subject to achieving specific milestones which are expected to be completed by December 2021.
Bangalore based Asteria Aerospace was incorporated in June 2011 and is one of the leading drone technology company with in-house drone manufacturing capabilities. The company also provides software solutions to deliver ‘drone-as-a-service’ digital platform. Asteria reported a turnover of INR 1.96 crore, INR 2.04 crore and INR 1 lakh for the years 2019, 2018 and 2017 respectively.
This is the fourth acquisition that RIL had done since September 2019. Earlier, RIL’s AI-based conversational platform Haptik acquired Mumbai based conversational commerce platform Buzzo.ai. To enter North America, Haptik acqui-hired AI-based startup Convrg Technologies Inc. -a Los Angeles based conversational commerce platform.
Moreover, the giant group also announced to acquire Shopsense Retail Technologies Pvt. Ltd. for around INR 295.25 crore. Shopsense runs fashion portal Fynd. The development came after when Mumbai based Fynd raised Series C funding round which was led by Google.
At present, drones are being used across the world for various civilian purposes. India, at some of the other level, is somewhat lagging behind in utilizing the technology at its best. Although the government is under the process of formulating and regulating the use of the drone for civilian purposes, developments like Asteria and RIL made are making the future of the drone development in India bright.