End-to-end drone solutions provider Poladrone announced that it has secured $4.29 million in a Seed round led by one of Southeast Asia’s leading venture capital firms – Wavemaker Partners.
Cheong Jin Xi (JX), Poladrone’s Founder and CEO, said this will allow them to scale up operations to better serve customers across the region, and to attract top talents to further improve their products.
The company is setting up Service Centres in agricultural towns to offer “Sales, Service, and Spare Parts” in Malaysia and Thailand. They are also looking to expand to other markets in the region, specifically Indonesia.
These centres will also act as “Centres of Excellence”, where industrial training and knowledge sharing will be conducted to boost the adoption of drone technology.
Other investors that participated in the round include the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), a strategic investment fund wholly owned by the Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Hong Kong-based investment firm ZB Capital Limited, and angel investors.
Recently, the company has launched Mist Drone – a blanket spraying agriculture drone that is said to be better suited for open field crops, such as paddy, corn, and banana.
Cheong explained that downtime for their drones is detrimental to their customers’ livelihood.
“As most operations happen away from metropolitan areas, our Service Centers will provide better accessibility to customers to quickly maintain or repair their equipment,” he said in a statement.
Cheong said they are excited to team up with Wavemaker and MTDC who share the same vision in putting their customers’ needs at the heart of their growth strategy.
Gavin Lee, General Partner at Wavemaker Partners, said Cheong knows precisely what problems plantation owners face and how automation can help them.
Lee added that Poladrone’s work scope with eight out of 10 biggest palm oil plantations in Malaysia gives them confidence to back them and their vision of propelling Southeast Asia’s agriculture industry.
MTDC said this investment will spur the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the agriculture sector in line with the National 4IR Policy and the recently launched 12th Malaysian Plan.
It added that the technology that Poladrone is offering will reduce the reliance on foreign workers especially in the palm oil industry while at the same time helps increase the number of knowledge workers in the drone industry.