Terra Drone wad founded in 2016 with the express intent of creating an 'air mobility based society'. Image Credit: Terra Drone Website

Dubai: The Saudi Aramco owned investment fund, Wa’ed Ventures, has led a $14 million ‘bridge round’ in Terra Drone, the Japan-based urban air mobility tech firm. This will see the Japanese firm launch a new subsidiary in the Kingdom, to localize its drone services as well as serve a global autonomous vehicles market expected to ‘grow to $1.5 trillion by 2040’.

Terra Drone, which launched in 2016, is on a ‘mission to evolve the world from the sky’. According to Toru Tokushige, founder and CEO, “We are now approaching a future where drones and aerial vehicles will no longer be a novelty. We have built up a solid track record both domestically and internationally up to this point, and have grown to be recognized as the top drone service provider in the world.

“Saudi Aramco's investment in Terra Drone is another example of the global recognition for our achievements.”

Wa’ed Ventures’ investment comes on top of the $83 million raised in previous rounds by Terra Drone. These included participation from Mitsui & Co. Ltd, SBI Investment Co. Ltd, Tokyu Land Corporation, and Seika Corporations, representing some of the largest institutional investors in the Asian market.

The startup has served more than 10 countries since its founding in 2016, providing drone hardware and cloud-based software to over 1,000 projects, all done to create a ‘drone and air mobility-based society’.

“Our investment represents Wa’ed’s commitment towards building the UAM ecosystem in the Kingdom, one that circles around sustainable economy,” said Fahad Alidi, Managing Director at Wa’ed Ventures. “We foresee rapid adoption for drone services in numerous industries, and Terra Drone is well-positioned to localize their proprietary technology across the region, starting with the Kingdom.”