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GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups and others back homegrown drone maker

Bengaluru-based drone maker Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round from GrowX Ventures, 500 Startups, and BellWether Advisors.

The startup said in a statement that existing investors StartupXseed, 3ONE4 Capital and Sanjay Jesrani had also participated in the round.

The money will be used for expanding the AUS' business reach and for research and development purposes.

AUS was founded in 2013 by IIT Kanpur alumni Nikhil Upadhye and Suhas Banshiwala, Amity University graduate Vipul Singh and IIT-Bombay alumnus Yeshwanth Reddy. Upadhye is no longer with the company.

Run by Aarav Unmanned Systems Pvt. Ltd, the startup was initially incubated at the SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) at IIT-Kanpur.

The drones provide thermographic data to detect inefficiencies in power transmission lines and solar power plants. AUS' 3D mapping solutions are also used in mining and urban planning.

“The new funding round shall help us penetrate deeper in our existing market, expand to some tough-to-crack and large potential applications in the near future, and establish a roadmap for applications in the logistics and urban mobility markets, which is our ultimate long-term goal,” said Vipul Singh, AUS' chief executive officer.

He added that AUS hopes to increase its presence in the energy sector and expand to a couple of other countries by 2019.

AUS had secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding in February 2016 from StartupXseed Ventures, The Phoenix Fund and other investors.

WeDoSky, a similar startup, had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Mumbai Angels Network last December.

Investors

GrowX ventures is an early-stage investment firm based out of Delhi. It has invested in 23 companies since its inception including Mad Street Den, Quandl, Ziploan, and Locus.sh.

It recently participated in a funding round in Mumbai-based Wellthy Therapeutics Pvt Ltd, which operates a mobile-based diabetes management platform.

GrowX had invested in the same startup last December.

500 Startups is a Silicon Valley-headquartered global venture capital seed fund. The early-stage investor has made close to 60 investments in India since 2012.

BellWether Advisors is a Gurgaon-headquartered wealth management firm.

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