Founded by IIT Bombay alumni, ideaForge is backed by the likes of Qualcomm, Infosys and Florintree Capital Partners, co-established by former Blackstone executive Mathew Cyriac.
Mumbai-based ideaForge, a vertically integrated firm which designs and manufactures drones for mapping, security and surveillance applications has filed papers with market regulator SEBI to unlock value and raise capital via an initial public offer, multiple industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Moneycontrol.
If the firm’s plans fructify, it would be the first ever listing by a drone maker on the main board of the domestic bourses. To be sure, ace investor Shankar Sharma-backed Droneacharya Aerial Innovations made a stellar debut on the BSE SME platform in December 2022.
ideaForge is backed by the likes of Qualcomm, Infosys and Florintree Capital Partners, co-established by former Blackstone executive Mathew Cyriac.
“The e-filing of the DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus) has been done. The IPO will be a combination of a fresh issue of shares of around Rs 300 crore and an OFS component. The selling shareholders who plan to participate include promoter group entities, Qualcomm, venture capital firms and other investors” said one of the persons cited above.
ALSO READ: How the geniuses behind the 3 Idiots drone bagged a $20 million UAV deal from the Indian Army
Founded by IIT Bombay alumni, the firm, a market leader in the defence and homeland security UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) segment in India, mesmerized viewers with one of its prototypes which was featured in the Bollywood smash hit ‘3 Idiots’. The UAV, which was fixed by Aamir Khan’s character Rancho in the movie, also caught the attention of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) and the rest is history.
A second person told Moneycontrol that the proceeds of the proposed IPO would be used to pare debt and for working capital requirements and product development.
A third person familiar with the IPO added that JM Financial and IIFL Capital are the investment banks working on the deal, while law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co are the legal advisors. He elaborated that the drone segment was an exciting space with strong growth potential.
ALSO READ: Drone manufacturer ideaForge raises $20 million led by Florintree, to invest in international expansion
All the three persons above spoke to Moneycontrol on the condition of anonymity.
Moneycontrol has sent email queries and could not elicit an immediate comment from ideaForge, Qualcomm and the IPO advisors. This article will be updated as soon as we hear from the parties.
A closer survey of ideaForge
Ankit Mehta, Ashish Bhat and Rahul Singh are the co-founders of ideaForge while Vipul Joshi is the CFO. Under the mapping segment, the firm’s applications help in land survey, mining area planning and mapping and volumetric estimation. In the security and surveillance segment, the applications are used for anti-terror operations (by defence forces and law enforcement agencies), border security, coastal security and surveillance and crime control.
According to its website, ideaForge has the largest operational deployment of indigenous UAVs across India, “with an ideaForge manufactured drone taking off every five minutes for surveillance and mapping on an average.”
The website adds, “Our customers have completed over 300,000 flights using our UAVs. We ranked 7th globally in the dual-use category (civil and defence) drone manufacturers as per the report published by Drone Industry Insights in December 2022. In addition to being among the first few players in India to enter the UAV market, we also have the distinction of being the first company to indigenously develop and manufacture vertical take-off and landing (“VTOL”) UAVs in India in 2009. We have industry’s leading product portfolios targeted at civil and defence applications (dual use).”