Terra Drone raises $70million

Japanese drone services company Terra Drone Corporation just got 70 million more reasons to smile.

The Tokyo-based company – which as offices in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America – told the world that it has raised $70million in Series B funding, with capital injections from Mitsui & Co. Ltd., SBI Investment Co. Ltd., Tokyu Land Corporation, Kyushu Electric Power T&D, and Seika Corporation.

The fund-raising round also saw investment 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) – to the newly established joint venture, as well as participation from existing investor Venture Lab Investment.

“Our airspace is going to get more crowded than ever, but most companies today are concentrating only on hardware development,” says Toru Tokushige, founder and CEO of Terra Drone. “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.”

Founded in 2016, Terra Drone is involved with various drone and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) technology services, as well as cloud-based software for survey and inspection operations, such as Terra Lidar and thickness measurement by ultrasonic NDT.

Their inspection operations include some really interesting drone works, like their solutions to drone-based measurements for wall and roof thickness.

Terra Drone also provides industrial drone solutions, and has been ranked No. 1 in the world in the “Drone Services Companies Worldwide Ranking 2020” by respected drone market research company Drone Industry Insights.

In Africa, the company has offices in Angola (known as Terra Drone Angola); having briefly set up shop in South Africa in 2018.

In the Netherlands, the company’s subsidiary, Terra Inspectioneering is serving oil and gas production and processing companies such as Shell, BASF, and Bunge, while in Southeast Asia, Terra Drone offers survey, inspection, and surveillance services through Terra Drone Indonesia whose clients include Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and AECOM.

The latest round of funding has brought the total amount of investment to $83 million, Terra Drone says.

With much focus on integrating drones into busy airspaces, the company has been working with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to coordinate flight management of both crewed and uncrewed aircraft.

Said Tokushige; “A focus on increasing recurring revenue through the sale of survey-grade hardware and cloud-based software such as Terra LiDAR; providing specialised solutions such as ultrasonic thickness (UT) measurements and non-destructive testing (NDT) using drones through 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.”


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