Aarav Unmanned Systems’ Small Drone First To Be Certified By Government

  • DGCA certified AUS’s drone to be compliant with India’s NP-NT protocol
  • Previously, DGCA has certified three drones in the micro category
  • Small drones have wider use-cases and carry a bigger payload than micro drones.

India’s civil aviation authority directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has certified a drone in the small drone category developed by Bengaluru-based Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS).

Aarav’s drone was found to be compliant with the drone guidelines set by the government under the ‘no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) protocol for commercial drone flights within the country.

AUS is the first drone startup to be granted the certification under the small category as all previous certifications were for drones under the micro category.

The DGCA categorises drones based on weight and payload capabilities. Drones weighing between 2 Kgs and 25 Kgs are considered small drones, while micro drones are ones which weigh between 250 g and 2 Kgs, including the payload.

Small drone capabilities are much higher than the Micro drones as indicated by the increase in their payload size and weight. These often have higher quality sensors on board and larger payloads, which are in line with what businesses and industries working with drones seek, AUS said.

The company works with large mining, infrastructure, power and survey companies, including several state-run agencies and is likely to strike up more deals after the DGCA certification. With the launch of the new drone, the company aims to increase its 250% year-on-year (YoY) growth rate to 400% YoY.

The certification for AUS’ small drones has been one of the concerns over the government Drone Regulation 1.0. Last month, Singh told Inc42, that the government has been urged to include categories such as small drones for certification so that startups and individuals can apply for these permits and serve the larger use-cases that these drones offer.

The Drone Market In India

In 2018, India had legalised flying commercial drones and announced the Drone Regulations 1.0

The regulations had banned the use of drones for the delivery of goods and food. However, the government had hinted at including a clause for ecommerce and food delivery sectors in the draft of  Drone Regulations 2.0

Food delivery giant Zomato has also been testing out the drone-based deliveries in India. In 2018, the company has acquired Lucknow-based drone startup TechEagle Innovations, which is believed could boost drone delivery plans by creating a hub-to-hub delivery network.

Amazon has been preparing to handle drone delivery operation in India since 2017. The company had filed a patent application in India for the technology that lets its drones identify objects and locations mid-air for targetted deliveries.

Link: https://inc42.com/buzz/aarav-unmanned-systems-small-drone-first-to-be-certified-by-government/

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Bonhomia raises $500,000 from Valpro Capital, others

Bonhomia has already set up over 60 consumer experience zones across the country and plans to expand the same to more than 150 by the year end, given the strong consumer traction.

Bonhomia looks to use the funds for strengthening its distribution and manufacturing capabilities

Indulge Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which makes single-serve tea and coffee capsules under the brand name Bonhomia, has raised $500,000 in a bridge round of funding from Valpro Capital and existing investors.

It had raised $2 million from a group of angel investors in 2015. The company is currently in talks with potential strategic investors for an investment.

The New Delhi-based company, founded in 2013 by Kunal Bhagat and Tuhin Jain, is looking to use the funds for strengthening its distribution and manufacturing capabilities.

“Bonhomia has carved out a niche brand in the single-serve beverage segment and is poised at the ideal inflection point to capitalize on the aspirational consumption segment of urban India. Both Kunal and Tuhin are driving operations and strategy efficiently to capitalize on the strong foundation built by them,” said Anshuman Khanna, director, Valpro Capital.

Bonhomia has already set up over 60 consumer experience zones across the country and plans to expand the same to more than 150 by the year end, given the strong consumer traction. The company’s capsules and brewing machines are available in retail stores like Croma, Foodhall, Hypercity and Godrej Nature’s Basket.

Link: https://www.livemint.com/Companies/SBMjNKNGV1EFKb7UwrolMK/Bonhomia-raises-500000-from-Valpro-Capital-others.html

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Indulge Beverages raises $2M from former senior managing director at Helion, others

Delhi-based Indulge Beverages Pvt Ltd, which makes and sells tea and coffee ‘capsules’ under the Bonhomia brand, has raised $2 million (Rs 12.5 crore) from a group of angel investors led by co-founder and former senior managing director of Helion Venture Partners, Kanwaljit Singh, the company said on Thursday.

The other investors who participated in the round included Ashok Dhingra, former director of strategic initiatives at SAB Miller; real estate group scion Apurva Salarpuria of Salarpuria Group; Shripad Nadkarni, former marketing head at Coca Cola India and currently director at MarketGate Consulting; Sarvesh Shahra, business head (foods) at Ruchi Soya Industries; Anand Morzaria, CEO at Pennywise Solutions Pvt Ltd; Alok Rawat & family (Dubai-based serial angel investor); Ramrod Advisors; Gidwani family (Mumbai-based angel investor and Nitesh Kripalani (INSEAD Alumnus).

Singh would represent these angel investors on Indulge Beverages’ board. Commenting on the investment, Singh said, “Bonhomia is delivering on a strong emerging consumer trend in India. I also see a great potential for the company to build a global brand, especially with the range of Indian origin tea flavours.”

The three-year-old startup will use the proceeds towards marketing its products as well as developing newer blends of beverages. It is also planning to launch 8-12 blends in the current financial year and also augment its online and offline presence.

Founded by former merchant banker Kunal Bhagat along with a former executive of Pepsico, Tuhin Jain, in January 2012, Indulge Beverages says it sources coffee from the estates in South India and roasts, grounds and encapsulates them in less than 24 hours.

Its own brand Bonhomia was launched in March 2014 as a premium Indian origin tea and coffee capsules, which are compatible with Nespresso machines.

At present, it sells its products through e-commerce platforms such as Fabmart and Snapdeal. On the other side, for the offline channel it has partnered with Modern Bazaar, Foodhall and Godrej Nature’s Basket among others. Its offline store presence is currently limited to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

The company had scaled up its pod capacity from 1 million capsules to 20 million capsules in the last six months.

“We are well placed in terms of our reach in the B2B and B2C space. This infusion of capital combined with the industry expertise brought in by the distinguished team of investors will help us expand our geographic presence as well as product range,” Tuhin Jain, co-founder and CMO, Indulge Beverages, said.

The firm estimates that the global market for Nespresso format is estimated to be over $10 billion, of which India represents a mere 0.33 per cent with the market size of just Rs 200 crore.

Link: https://www.vccircle.com/indulge-beverages-raises-2m-former-senior-managing-director-helion-others

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