Infosys has invested an undisclosed amount in Navi Mumbai-based drone startup ideaForge.
ideaForge’s drones have been used by the Indian Armed Forces for surveillance, crowd monitoring and rescue operations, and have commercial applications in verticals such as energy, utilities, telecom and agriculture, Infosys said in a statement.
ideaForge has developed a completely autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – NETRA – for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of moving and fixed targets. The UAV has a range capability of flying up to 5 Kms with an endurance of 50 minutes. Its specialized VTOL capability enables the operator to execute operational maneuvers even in constrained flying environments.
The ideaForge investment is the company’s eleventh investment out of its $500 million investment fund. Infosys has also invested in venture firms Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners.
Founded by three IIT-Bombay graduates, ideaForge has developed NETRA in collaboration with Defense Research Development Organization.
Infosys had set up the Innovation Fund in 2013 to provide financing to start-ups and new technologies like artificial intelligence. The Bengaluru-based firm has recently invested in firms like US-based TidalScale, Danish artificial intelligence start-up UNSILO and Stellaris Venture Partners (an early-stage venture fund).
In 2009, the startup developed the world’s smallest and lightest autopilot UAV and then went on to develop the country’s first fully autonomous vertical take-off and landing UAV.
The startup has delivered this technology specifically to India’s defence organizations and other government bodies.