Aerodyne Group, a Malaysia-based drone company, has on Monday announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Grupo DR1, one of the leading professional drone operators and service providers in Brazil, to further expand its presence in Latin America (LATAM), in line with Aerodyne’s global expansion plan.

This strategic investment marks Aerodyne’s entry into Brazil, the largest market in LATAM, Aerodyne said in a statement.

The deal also provides Aerodyne with the opportunity to tap into the largest oil and gas drone services market in the said region, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 70% in the next few years.

The strategic investment also serves as a regional platform to launch Aerodyne’s new technology and solutions in precision agriculture, advanced air mobility, and remote and autonomous drone-based solutions space, among others.

This partnership capitalizes on the strengths of both parties creating a synergy towards the advancement of the industry in the region.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Grupo DR1 has established a strong track record servicing major clients in multiple sectors including oil and gas, and mining.

The firm’s existing management team, led by the Chief Executive Officer Mateus Santos and Chief Operating Officer Ricardo Santos, will continue to lead the company and remain as co-shareholders.

According to the statement, this partnership will solidify Grupo DR1’s position in LATAM beyond the oil and gas sector by complementing its existing solutions with Aerodyne’s turnkey DT3 solutions.

Leveraging Aerodyne’s proven track record in various sectors such as powerline and telecommunications, the strategic investment allows for Grupo DR1’s synergistic expansion into such verticals.

Through Aerodyne’s global support, Grupo DR1 is now able to expand its presence beyond the borders of Brazil, providing scalability and opportunities for diversification.

“This investment is a platform for Aerodyne to expand our footprint into Brazil and to export our technology solutions and other value-added services to Grupo DR1’s existing clientele and beyond,

“We are proud to be the world’s leader in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as an enabling technology for large-scale data operations, analytics and process optimisation,” said Aerodyne’s Chief Strategy Officer Amir Zakwan Anuar.

According to him, this is the first of a new wave of investments in the Aerodyne Group pipeline in the company’s strategy to consolidate the drone technology market.

“We look forward to fuelling the next phase of growth in LATAM and contribute to the development of the region,

“Grupo DR1 already has a strong foundation which is perfectly aligned to our vision and has the expertise to further realise the immense potential,” he added.

Grupo DR1 Chief Executive Officer Mateus Santos also expressed excitement on being Aerodyne’s strategic partner, leveraging on the global footprint and expertise in data technology and digital transformation.

“We are pleased to welcome this investment and in being a strategic partner of Aerodyne Group,

“This partnership will allow us to offer the most innovative and differentiated value proposition for our clients, enabling Grupo DR1 to expand its wings not only in new verticals but also increase depth of technology solutions with existing clients,” he added.

Aerodyne Group is a DT3 (drone tech, data tech, and digital transformation) drone-based enterprise solutions provider, and a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence as an enabling technology for large-scale data operations, analytics, and process optimisation.

The firm employs over 1,000 drone professionals who operate on an unprecedented level in the UAS services sector, having managed more than 560,000 infrastructure assets with 458,058 flight operations and surveyed over 380,000 km of power infrastructure more than 30 countries globally.

Grupo DR1 is one of the leaders of drone-based enterprise solutions in Brazil. The company is focused on the asset management and topographic survey for multiple sectors through technological innovations focused on drones and software.

Under management, the firm has seven contracts and more than 35 active clients. Supported by a team of 32 people, with experienced trained operators and equipment suitable for the activities, the company holds over 90 percent of market share in offshore drone inspections.

Until 2021, Grupo DR1 was responsible for delivering more than 1,000 projects for the largest companies in the oil and gas, mining, steel and cement sectors in Brazil.

Malaysia’s Aerodyne secures $30M strategic investment bridging round led by Petronas