Poladrone, a Malaysian startup focusing on end-to-end drone solutions, received $4.29 million (RM 18 million) funding in a seed round headed by the Southeast Asian venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners. Khazanah National Bhd owned strategic investment firm Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), Hong Kong-based principal investment firm ZB Capital Limited, and other angel investors also took part in the seed round.
The startup that already has a presence in Thailand is now planning to capture the market in Indonesia. “The funding will allow us to scale up operations to better serve customers across the region, and to attract top talent to further improve our products,” said the founder and CEO of Poladrone, Cheong Jin Xi.
Poladrone, working in the palm oil sector, got a huge boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup went from 20 members to more than 80 members team in less than a year due to more companies adopting technology due to shortage of labour.
“Having been brought up in a household of agricultural operators all the while spending over a decade working on his passion for drones, Jin Xi knows precisely what problems plantation owners face and how automation can help. It has been amazing to see him and the Poladrone team’s approach to building localized solutions that are highly efficient, cost-effective, and tailored to plantations of all sizes. Poladrone now works with eight out of 10 of the biggest palm oil plantations in Malaysia – an impressive feat that gives us the confidence to back the team and their vision of propelling Southeast Asia’s agriculture industry,” said Gavin Lee, General Partner at Wavemaker Partners.
Mist Drone, a new blanket spraying agriculture drone that works best for open field crops, has also been introduced by Poladrone recently.