Over the years, Malaysia has fostered a rather robust ecosystem of dronetech startups.
In an interview with TechNode Global, Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology (MRANTI) CEO Dzuleria Abu Bakar said the drone revenue market is expected to double to $17.9 billion by 2025 in Asia.
Clearly, the growth of drone technology isn’t slowing down anytime soon. So, to be in the know, here are some of the big names in local dronetech you should know.
Having started as the drone division of a media company in 2006, Aerodyne Group is now easily one of the biggest names in drone technology, not just in Malaysia, but around the world.
After all, Drone Industry Insights ranked the Malaysia-based company number one in the world in its 2021 drone service provider rankings.
The company’s top executive told Nikkei Asia in April that Aerodyne aims to raise up to $200 million next year, with plans for an IPO expected within the next three years.
Aerodyne Group describes itself as a DT3 solution provider of drone-based enterprise solutions. DT3 refers to drone technology, data technology and digital transformation.
According to its Facebook page, the company has employed more than 900 drone professionals, managed more than 560,000 infrastructure assets with 458,000 flight operations, and surveyed more than 380,000 km of electrical infrastructure in 35 countries.
Beyond these figures, the company has also participated in search and rescue missions during the floods.
Just weeks after those efforts, it announced the signing of a strategic partnership with Norwegian dronetech company, Astralution, to drive growth.
If you’ve been involved in the dronetech scene for a while, you might be more familiar with the Poladrone name, but the local company just rebranded itself as Aonic.
In a Business Today article, Founder and CEO Cheong Jin Xi said that Aonic was chosen with reference to aeonic, meaning it lasts an eon. In addition, Aonic is a “quasi-anagram” of the word “action”.
Along with the name change, Aonic also introduced a new retail vertical to its business. From now on, it will serve potential customers by selling drones and spare parts on e-commerce platforms, its own online store and in physical centers in agricultural towns in Malaysia and Thailand.
The startup dronetech was created in 2016 to provide services related to automation and analytics. Today, he is best known for his spray drones used in agriculture.
In 2021, Aonic, or Poladrone at the time, is also known for raising Malaysia’s largest seed funding round, backed by Singaporean venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners. To be precise, the startup raised $4.3 million.
3. Meraque Services
Named the 19th best drone technology service provider in the world by Drone Industry Insights, Meraque Services Sdn Bhd is a local dronetech company specializing in drone facility management.
The startup has expertise in drone asset management and inspection, drone surveying and mapping, drone training and development, drone security and surveillance, and drone photography and videography. drones.
In an interview with Disruptr, the startup’s CEO, Razalee Ismail, said oil palm plantations in Malaysia had suffered from labor shortages during the pandemic.
Thanks to its expertise, Meraque was able to contribute to this thanks to its hybrid spraying by drone for agriculture as well as its software solution for precision agriculture.
Earlier this year, Meraque also made headlines by partnering with Malaysian Air Youth Club, Malaysian Youth Council and Tenggara Parliament Coordinating Office to cultivate young talent.
This effort shows that they are not only waiting but also facilitating the growth of the drone industry in Malaysia.
4. VStream Revolution
A drone and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions provider, VStream Revolution focuses on drone sales and services, autonomous drone security and surveillance, counter-drone or anti-drone solutions and other services such as mapping, sectioning and training.
According to Technode Global, VStream is also a pioneer in drone insurance in Malaysia. As such, the company participates in the Drone Logistics ecosystem, a global organization that creates a confidential and business-friendly environment for its members.
Along with the aforementioned Meraque services, VStream Revolution reportedly worked with AirAsia last year in its pilot urban drone delivery services.
During last year’s floods, the two drone operator companies also helped MOSTI as part of the PTK2Dron task force.
From a pool of more than 500 candidates, the firm was also one of the 33 startups selected for MOSTI and Cradle’s MYStartup accelerator. This hints at the growth potential of VStream.
Like the other names listed so far, Malaysia-based MATA Aerotech also offers a range of various drone services.
From aerial imaging and crop spraying to emergency and disaster response, mapping and 3D modeling, MATA Aerotech considers itself a full-service organization.
According to an article by Digital News Asia (DNA), MATA Aerotech is a joint venture between Nexus Union Sdn Bhd and Taiwan-listed Geosat Aerospace & Technology Inc, a UAS and robotics technology company.
DNA also reported that Malaysian plastics and furniture manufacturing company SWS Capital Berhad bought a 51% majority stake in MATA Aerotech in 2019, paying RM4.2725 million in cash for 3,442,500 shares in MATA Aerotech.
In July 2019, MATA Aerotech signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Felcra, the Malaysian Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Agency.
The MoU outlined both parties’ intention to integrate drone technology into the management and operations of Felcra’s plantations.
Besides these five names, there are still many drone-related businesses popping up in Malaysia, many of which are worth keeping an eye out for. But big names like these certainly lead by example.
As drone technology continues to develop locally and overseas, our dronetech companies can hopefully take Malaysia to even greater heights (pun intended).
- Read the other articles we have written about dronetech here.
Featured image credit: Aerodyne / Aonic