TOKYO, January 25, 2023 – Terra Drone Corporation, a leading drone, and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) technology provider, has raised $14 million in funding from Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of the biggest oil producer in the world, Aramco. With this financing, Terra Drone will set up a new subsidiary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Terra Drone Arabia, in line with the Saudi government’s “Vision 2030.”
First announced in 2016, the Vision 2030 reform plan aims to stimulate economic transformation in Saudi Arabia by reducing the country’s dependence on hydrocarbons. Technology is at the heart of this initiative, and the Saudi government is focusing its efforts on promoting the use of drones in services such as asset inspections.
Wa’ed Ventures was formed in 2013 specifically to boost tech-based innovation in the Kingdom by investing in startups that can become national champions and fill critical gaps in the Saudi economy. This is the first time Wa’ed Ventures is investing in an Asian startup, which is a testament to Terra Drone’s vision, state-of-the-art digital solutions, and cutting-edge drone technologies. Terra Drone will support a new subsidiary by taking advantage of the whole business experiences of Terra Drone in South-East Asia and Europe, the No.1 drone solution provider in the world in the fields of survey, inspection, and UTM.
With the establishment of Terra Drone Arabia, the company hopes to create new job opportunities in Saudi Arabia while accelerating the development of the drone industry in the Middle East. Terra drone will provide oil-gas inspection services, The new subsidiary will also help Terra Drone, which is counted among the top two drone service providers in the world, to further its expansion globally. At present, Terra Drone provides drone and UAM solutions in 10 countries across the world.
Unifly is the leading UTM technology provider in the world, having a strong presence in Europe and North America. Terra Drone is the largest shareholder of Unifly.
The new subsidiary Terra Drone Arabia will further promote drone inspections to support the Saudi economy, ensure safe and efficient UAM in the country, and invest in the growth of both verticals.
Fahad Alidi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures, said: “Supported by the global track record of Terra Drone, our investment represents our commitment towards building the UAM ecosystem in the Kingdom, one that circles around a sustainable economy. We foresee rapid adoption for UAM technology as an emerging tech vertical in the region, and Terra Drone is well-positioned to localize their innovation across the region, starting with the Kingdom.”
Toru Tokushige, founder and CEO of Terra Drone Corporation, adds, “Terra Drone has been in business since 2016, the dawn of the drone era, with a mission to evolve the world from the sky. Six years later, we are approaching a future where drones and aerial vehicles will no longer be a novelty. We have built up a solid track record both domestically and internationally up to this point, and have grown to be recognized as the top drone service provider in the world. Aramco’s investment in Terra Drone through its VC arm Wa’ed Ventures is another example of the global recognition for our achievements, which raises the expectations for our team as we continue to push forward and lead Terra Drone to the forefront of the global innovation track.”