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ideaForge Goes GalaxEye: Drones to Soon Penetrate Fog & Foliage

IdeaForge, a drone maker, just acquired GalaxEye, a space startup. Why? To build drones that see through fog and trees! This tech will change farming, security, and more by giving clear data in tough conditions. Read the article for all the detail.

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Swati Dayal
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ideaForge's Secret Weapon

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Imagine monitoring crops, fighting fires, or even searching for people - all without being stopped by fog or foliage. Now imagine a world where drones, those ubiquitous eyes in the sky, can pierce through the thick fog blanketing a search and rescue mission, or peer deep into the emerald heart of a rainforest to track endangered wildlife. This fantastical vision is inching closer to reality, thanks to a strategic alliance between drone manufacturer ideaForge and spacetech startup GalaxEye.

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Drone manufacturing startup, ideaForge, is in the process of expanding its technological capabilities. Through the acquisition of Series A Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares in Bengaluru-based spacetech startup, GalaxEye Space Solutions, ideaForge wants to develop next-generation drone-based sensors capable of seeing through fog and foliage, a game-changer for various industries.

Expanding Horizons: Entering the U.S. Market

This strategic move aligns perfectly with ideaForge's previously announced plans to penetrate the U.S. market. With growing concerns surrounding Chinese drone dominance, ideaForge presents itself as a compelling alternative, offering American buyers cutting-edge technology built with domestic expertise.

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The Deal is Sealed

On July 10, 2024, ideaForge officially announced the acquisition through an exchange filing, stating, "The Company has entered into a Share Subscription Agreement and a Shareholders' Agreement...with GalaxEye Space Solutions Private Limited for acquiring Series A Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares...at a total consideration of INR 8,28,72,720."

Founded in 2021, GalaxEye Space Solutions, led by Suyash Singh, Denilm Chawda, Pranit Mehta, and Rakshit Bhatt, is a pioneer in the spacetech sector. The company is developing the world's first multi-sensor imaging satellite, designed to provide comprehensive geospatial analysis for governments, defense sectors, and various industries. This collaboration isn't entirely new; earlier this year, both companies joined forces to develop a groundbreaking Foliage Penetration Radar-equipped UAV, showcasing their commitment to pushing technological boundaries.

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Unveiling the Technology: How Will This Technology Help?

Drone technology has witnessed remarkable advancements over the past decade, but the development of drone-based sensors capable of seeing through fog and foliage is poised to revolutionize the industry.

The primary innovation lies in the sensors’ ability to penetrate fog and dense foliage, providing clear and actionable data in environments where traditional drones face limitations. This capability is achieved through advanced imaging technologies and radar systems that can effectively "see" through obstacles that typically obstruct visual and infrared sensors.

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These sensors revolutionize agriculture by enabling farmers to monitor crop health, assess soil, and detect pests in challenging conditions, boosting yields and reducing waste. In security, they provide law enforcement and military with enhanced visibility in forests and aid in search and rescue, border security, and anti-smuggling. Environmental monitoring benefits from their ability to survey forests, track deforestation, and monitor wildlife unhindered by weather or dense foliage. They also improve infrastructure inspections along power lines and pipelines in forested areas, reducing downtime and accidents. Additionally, urban planners use them to plan construction and manage development in foggy or vegetated areas, ensuring sustainable growth.

ideaForge: A Leader in Drone Manufacturing

Established in 2007, ideaForge, under the leadership of Ankit Mehta, Ashish Bhat, Rahul Singh, and Vipul Joshi, has become a household name in the drone manufacturing industry. Their diverse range of UAV systems caters to a wide spectrum of sectors, including defense, homeland security, mining, construction, agriculture, energy, and utilities.

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The recent acquisition comes on the heels of other strategic moves by ideaForge. The company witnessed a 2.7% rise in share price on the BSE, trading at INR 816 during Thursday's session. Additionally, June saw the expansion of their ESOP pool for employees and the offloading of shares by Celesta Capital.

Financial Strength and Market Potential

Despite a 30% decline in Q4 FY24 consolidated profit after tax (PAT) to INR 10.3 crore, ideaForge maintains a robust financial standing. This decline can be attributed to increased investment in inventory and employee benefits. However, the company still managed a commendable 12.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in operating revenue, reaching INR 102.3 crore.

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Listed in June 2023, ideaForge's IPO featured an offer for sale and a fresh issue, raising capital to fuel future endeavors. The spacetech sector, GalaxEye's domain, is witnessing exponential growth in India. Over 100 spacetech startups registered with ISRO in the past year, and the sector secured a staggering $233 million in funding between 2014 and July 2023.

The Indian spacetech sector is expected to reach a market size of a phenomenal $77 billion by 2030. ideaForge's strategic acquisition positions them perfectly to capitalize on this burgeoning market. By leveraging GalaxEye's advanced sensor technology, ideaForge is poised to become a leader in drone and spacetech innovation, driving growth and propelling the future of both industries.

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