At a time when most of the recent IPO debutants such as Sula Vineyards, Landmark Cars, and Aban Holdings failed to impress investors on their stock market listing, a SME (small and medium-sized) firm, Droneacharya Aerial Innovations, has bucked the trend and delivered up to 100% return over issue price on the first day of trading. Shares of Droneacharya Aerial Innovations made a dream debut on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday, with the share price of the drone startup company listing at ₹102 per share, a premium of 89% over its issue price of ₹54 apiece. Post listing, the stock was locked in a 5% upper circuit at ₹107.10, up 98% against the IPO price, in an otherwise weak broader market.

The BSE SME stock, which is listed in ''MT'' group securities, saw a surge in volume trade as 27 lakh shares changed hands over the counter, while the market capitalisation climbed to ₹256.92 crore. In comparison, the BSE benchmark Sensex was down 692 points at 60,134 levels.

The stellar debut of Droneacharya Aerial Innovations was in line with Dalal Street expectations as the SME stock was commanding a grey market premium (GMP) of more than 100% over its price band of ₹52-₹54 per equity share. Besides, overwhelming response from investors for its IPO also indicated a strong listing for the Pune-based company on the stock exchanges.

The BSE SME IPO garnered strong response from the bidders, clocking an oversubscription of 262 times on the last day of its public issue aggregating ₹6,016.78 crore. The company offered a total of 62.90 lakh shares through the book-building process in the price band of ₹52-54 per share. The retail portion was subscribed by 330.75 times, while two other categories, the Non-Institutional Investor category (NII) and Qualified Institutional Buyer (QIB), were booked 388.71 and 46.21 times, respectively.

Ahead of the company, the company raised ₹54 crore from anchor investors by allocating 17.90 lakh equity shares to 4 anchor investors at ₹54 per share. The anchor investors who participated in the bid include Aegis Investment Fund, Maven India Fund, Nav Capital VCC-NAV Capital Emerging Star Fund, and Zinnia Global Fund. Bollywood celebrities such as Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, and market veteran Shankar Sharma picked up minority stakes in the company in the pre-IPO round.

DroneAcharya AI is one of the first private players to receive a DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) certified RPTO (Remote Pilot Training Organisation) licence in 2022. Since March 2022, the company has trained more than 180 drone pilots. It has rolled out several concise and industry- relevant Drone and GIS courses designed to upskill and empower young Indians to build a new-age career within the drone ecosystem. Recently, it announced plans to acquire 100-plus new drones as a part of its expansion plan, while it aims to train 500 plus pilots and 25 instructors annually starting in 2023.

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