Japanese drone tech startup secures investment from Saudi Aramco's venture arm
Japanese drone tech startup secures investment from Saudi Aramco's venture arm

Japanese drone tech startup secures investment from Saudi Aramco's venture arm

25 january, 20231 minute to read
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As the largest oil company in the world, Saudi Aramco is investing in a Japanese startup that creates software for drones through its early-stage investment fund, as it seeks out new technologies.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s Wa'ed Ventures plans to invest $14 million in Terra Drone Corp., a Tokyo-based company that designs software for inspecting and monitoring pipes, tanks, and other confined spaces. This marks the $200 million fund's first investment in East Asia. Wa'ed Ventures is focused on finding technologies that can bring new business to Saudi Arabia as the country seeks to diversify its revenue sources beyond oil. The fund believes Terra Drone will help localize technological development in Saudi Arabia and support Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's vision of making the country a hub for advanced technologies.

With over 50 companies in its portfolio, Wa'ed Ventures is part of a larger effort by the kingdom to increase technology investments. Aramco also has an investment arm called Aramco Ventures, which manages larger funds such as the $1 billion Prosperity7 fund. Additionally, the Public Investment Fund recently increased its stake in gaming giant Nintendo and made a significant investment in South Korea's Kakao Entertainment Corp.

The Japanese startup, Terra Drone, intends to establish an office in Saudi Arabia with the funding received. They plan to utilize drones for inspections of oil and gas facilities and tanks belonging to Saudi Aramco. The company's Director, Teppei Seki, stated that they aim to hire 100 employees within 2-3 years. Terra Drone was founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of Terra Motors Corp and currently has offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Indonesia.

25 january, 2023
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