Terra Drone Corporation, a drone and urban air mobility (UAM) technology company headquartered in Japan, announced today it has scooped up a cool $70 million in Series B funding. The company, which was ranked as the “top drone service provider in the world” by market research firm Drone Industry Insights in 2019 and 2020, is now looking at establishing a US office and pushing out its uncrewed traffic management (UTM) offerings to the global market.
In addition to gaining the confidence of new investors Mitsui, SBI Investment, Tokyu Land Corporation, Kyushu Electric Power T&D, and Seika Corporation, and tapping into existing investor Venture Lab Investment, Terra Drone has received backing from the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) – a public-private infrastructure fund by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
The fresh funding brings Terra Drone to a total of $83 million raised. And this has got company founder and CEO Toru Tokushige eyeing a major chunk of the lucrative UAM market pie. Here’s Tokushige:
Our airspace is going to get more crowded than ever, but most companies today are concentrating only on hardware development. There’s an urgent need for a global air traffic management solution to enable safe and efficient drone and UAM operations, and Terra Drone aims to be the leading player building the digital infrastructure in the sky.
Tokushige adds that the company has already started working on this goal by collaborating with the Japanese national aerospace and space agency, JAXA, and coordinating flight management between crewed and uncrewed aircraft.
Meanwhile, a press statement by the company details that Terra Drone has achieved growth at a CAGR of 87% since it was founded in 2016. Profitability was first recorded in 2019 and a spike in the revenue has been maintained ever since, a global pandemic notwithstanding.
A focus on increasing recurring revenue through the sale of survey-grade hardware and cloud-based software such as Terra LiDAR; providing specialized services such as ultrasonic thickness (UT) measurements and non-destructive testing (NDT) using drones through Netherlands-based group company Terra Inspectioneering; and a strategic consolidation of overseas business has made us well-positioned for success. With this latest round of funding, we will be able to scale up operations and innovate faster.
Also read: 1,000+ drone LiDAR survey projects completed globally in 2020: Terra Drone
It’s worth noting that Terra Drone has been working with leading brands including Shell, BASF, and Bunge through Terra Inspectioneering. At the same time, in Southeast Asia, group company Terra Drone Indonesia’s push for drone survey, inspection, and surveillance services has bagged clients such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and AECOM.
But in the times to come, UTM may take center stage, as this statement by Tatsuhiko Takesada, president and CEO at JOIN, indicates:
Terra Drone comes with a proven track record of providing impeccable enterprise drone services in both Japan and overseas. By investing in its related company which offers UTM worldwide together with Terra Drone, we are looking forward to accelerating the development of an operations management system that would contribute to the safe and efficient integration of drones and UAM into commercial airspace.
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