Amid muted performance by most recent IPO debutants such as Elin Electronics, KFin Technologies, Sula Vineyards, Landmark Cars, and Aban Holdings, Droneacharya Aerial Innovations has defied gravity and surged more than 300% in the last two weeks. The BSE SME stock touched a fresh high of ₹220.80 intraday today against its IPO issue price of ₹54 apiece, registering a growth of 308% since its listing on domestic stock exchanges on December 23, 2022. The stellar growth in the share price of the Pune-based drone pilot training company indicates investors’ strong interest in drone manufacturing potential in India, which is expected to be worth $4.2 billion by 2025 and $23 billion by 2030.

On Tuesday, Droneacharya Aerial Innovations share price was locked in a 10% upper circuit limit at ₹220.80 against the previous closing price of ₹200.75 on the BSE. The market capitalisation of the SME (small and medium-sized) firm climbed to ₹529.67 crore. In contrast, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 664 points lower at 60,083 levels.

Shares of Droneacharya Aerial Innovations have had a dream run on the domestic bourses since its debut, 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, which is listed in ''MT'' group securities, settled the first day of trade at ₹96.90, up 79.4% against the IPO price. The stock has risen 40% in a week as compared to a 1.5% fall in the BSE Sensex.

The stellar debut of Droneacharya Aerial Innovations was in line with market expectations as the company received an overwhelming response from investors for its IPO. The BSE SME IPO garnered a 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 IPO, 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 over 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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