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    Earnings: ideaForge to Expand DaaS Operations, bring in Multi-Purpose Drones

    Drone company ideaForge Technology aired plans to commercialise its Drone-As-A-Service (DaaS) operations at scale and will open up some of its UAV platforms to create multi-purpose drones. The company also informed shareholders during an earnings meeting about the improved response from the US regarding its products following lukewarm feedback in February 2024.

    Here are the highlights for ideaForge’s Q4FY24 earnings:

    ideaForge to commercialise DaaS at scale: The company said that its DaaS pilot programs laid the groundwork for commercialization at scale. In the previous quarterly meeting, ideaForge had listed four use-case categories for DaaS, namely: surveillance, mapping, delivery, and inspection. Now, the company says it will shift DaaS “from a Company-Owned, Company-Operated initiative to a Franchisee-Owned, Franchisee-Operated business.” It also talked about “unlocking” new use cases for the service but did not elaborate further.

    Company to work on multi-purpose drones: ideaForge will be opening up a select drone platform for people to innovate different ways in which to use the same platform.

    “There is innovation possible in the form of delivery use cases, innovation possible in the form of creating certain mechanisms for tracking signals, etc.,” said Ankit Mehta, CEO of ideaForge. For the payloads that the company cannot build towards alone, it is partnering with people who will build specialized payloads like fog penetration and foliage penetration radars.

    “As well as what we have also done is that we are building a platform that will allow a lot of the ecosystem players to build analytics on top of the data that these systems collect. And what we do is we create a seamless way for that data to come from the drone all the way to the cloud. And, then there can be a partner who can build automated analytics on top, which can be delivered to an end customer as the outcome, because a lot of enterprise users want to essentially focus on the outcome that they want from a drone flying. And that is what we are trying to enable in as much automated way as possible,” said Mehta.

    ideaForge still working on expanding the indigenous UAV market: In its last IPO report, ideaForge had talked about indigenisation as one of its focus strategies to reduce dependency on UAV imports. It invested in companies like Aerospace’s Nautical Wings for the same reason and reported positive outcomes in terms of cost of input material, as well as indigenisation percentage.

    “We have taken early ecosystem view of the industry and therefore, we thought that if we can support the ability to build technology, not just at the system level, but also at the subsystem level in the country, we will see greater indigenisation de-risking of the overall country’s ability to produce drones from global geopolitics. So, the investment was in line with that,” said Ankit Mehta, CEO of ideaForge.

    ideaForge working with law enforcement in the US: In the previous quarter, the company had made no particular headway in North America. However, it reported “promising progress” in the region in Q4. Particularly, ideaForge observed a demand for its UAV products among law enforcement agencies.

    “The early segment for adoption in the US is likely to be the public safety segment there because defense in the US has a lot more you can say learning curve for us to understand the procurement processes than is probably our experience presently… However, public safety, law enforcement agencies, and other use cases around enterprise are likely to be the early vectors in the US,” said Mehta.

    In the previous quarter, the company deployed its UAVs to a few law enforcement agencies for a beta testing of the UAVs’ performance during real-life missions.  

    “In terms of having a lot more autonomy on our platform as well as having performances on the platform that deliver far more ease of use for them in their operations, because whenever they have long flight time operations, their previous experience was that they would have to change batteries three to four times in an hour or in two hours before they would be able to conclude the mission. With our platform they’re able to do that entire mission in perhaps one flight or maximum two flights. So, that change in experience is extremely positive and there are certain product market fit adjustments that we will do on our software, and we will track and aggressively chase sales from the next quarter onwards in that one sense and we do expect conversions within the year and these conversions at the run rate level may not be very large, but there are other international opportunities which we are tracking which can be substantial for us in the year,” said Mehta.

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    The post Earnings: ideaForge to Expand DaaS Operations, bring in Multi-Purpose Drones appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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