Terra Drone said today it has raised $14 million in Series C funding from Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco, marking the VC firm’s first investment in Asia. The Japan-headquartered company, which builds drone software, hardware and uncrewed aircraft traffic management software, said the new capital brings its total raised to $97 million since its inception in 2016. It declined to comment on its post-money valuation. According to sources familiar with the situation, the startup was valued at more than $200 million in March last year when Terra Drone closed a $70 million Series B.
The move comes in line with Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” plan, which lays out goals to reduce the nation’s dependence on hydrocarbons and promote the use of drones in services. For example, fossil fuel companies in Saudi Arabia will utilize Terra Drone’s technology for inspection services. Drones are supposed to detect things like oil leakage. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil producer and plans to increase fossil fuel production in coming years despite scientific consensus that such activities are wrecking the Earth’s climate.
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