Terra Drone Corporation, a drone and urban air mobility tech provider headquartered in Japan, has bagged $14 million in funding from Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Arabian oil conglomerate Aramco, according to a press release.
This marks Wa’ed Ventures’ first investment in an Asian startup.
Terra Drone will utilise the fresh investment to set up a new subsidiary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in line with the Saudi government’s “Vision 2030.”
Introduced in 2016, Saudi Vision 2030 aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy. Technology is a crucial part of the framework and the government promotes the use of drones in services such as asset inspections.
The new subsidiary will provide oil-gas inspection services and will help Terra Drone to further its global expansion.
Terra Drone has a presence in 10 countries across the world. Terra Drone Arabia, the new subsidiary, is expected to promote drone inspections to support the Saudi economy, ensure safe and efficient urban air mobility in the country, and invest in the growth of both verticals.
Asia is at the forefront of drone technology and innovation. According to Drone Industry Insights, Terra Drone is the world’s second-largest drone service company in 2021, after Malaysia’s Aerodyne. The ranking is based on various key parameters such as size and development, market share, and public perception.
In September, Aerodyne Group raised a $30-million bridging round led by Petronas’ corporate venture capital arm, PETRONAS Ventures, with participation from existing investor Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia’s public service pension fund.