Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures has acquired a 23.3% stake in U.S.-based drone technology company Exyn Technologies Inc. for $25 million.
Reliance Strategic Business Ventures and Exyn have also entered into a strategic partnership agreement for technology collaboration and commercialisation of Exyn's technology, the oil-to-telecom conglomerate says in a stock exchange filing.
Exyn is an early-stage technology company, incorporated in Delaware, in 2014 with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It enables drones and robots to navigate difficult terrains without GPS or other navigation technologies.
"Exyn Technologies is pioneering multi-platform robotic autonomy for complex, GPS-denied environments. The company's full-stack solution enables flexible deployment of single or multi-robots that can intelligently navigate and dynamically adapt to complex environments in real-time," the filing says.
The turnover of Exyn for calendar year 2021, 2020 and 2019 was $4.32 million, $1.83 million and $0.16 million, respectively.
The investment and partnership by RSBVL will have synergies with Reliance's investments and strategic initiatives in drone, industrial safety & security and robotics areas, while accelerating Exyn's product and technology development across multiple application areas and commercialisation, the filing says.
This comes a day after the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate acquired METRO Cash & Carry India in a deal worth ₹2,850 crore. METRO Cash & Carry India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of German wholesaler METRO AG.
India's largest company by market value forayed into fast moving consumer goods business last week. Reliance Consumer Products Ltd (RCPL), the recently instated FMCG arm of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), launched the FMCG brand 'Independence' for staples, processed foods, beverages and other daily essentials in Gujarat. The brand will be rolled out across India in a few months.
At the conglomerate annual general meeting earlier this year, Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani said Reliance Jio is excited by the endless possibilities of Jio 5G, and technology. "For example, take Agriculture. Jio 5G connected drones can be used for spraying organic fertilisers on crops across large tracts of farmland in a timely manner, thereby improving yield and reducing costs for our farmers."
India's richest man Gautam Adani is also eyeing a piece of the pie. Adani Defence Systems and Technologies Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, acquired a 50% stake in drone-based agri solutions provider General Aeronautics in May 2022. Bengaluru-based General Aeronautics is an end-to-end agri solutions provider. It provides robotic drones and drone-based solutions for crop protection services, crop health, precision- farming and yield monitoring using artificial intelligence and analytics for the agricultural sector.
According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, drones will give a $100 billion boost to India's GDP and will provide jobs to lakhs. The WEF report, 'Using Technology to Improve a Billion Livelihoods', says India's push for tech-led transformation in agriculture, with support from emerging business models like digital financing, precision agriculture, will lead to a 1%-1.5% boost in GDP.