Drone Innovation Boost: Zoho Invests in Yali Aerospace


Zoho, a prominent software firm, has made a strategic investment in Yali Aerospace, a drone technology startup based in Tamil Nadu. Sridhar Vembu, the co-founder and CEO of Zoho, announced this investment.

Vembu wrote, “We are pleased to announce our investment in Yali Aerospace, a Thanjavur-based drone startup led by the husband-wife team of Dinesh Baluraj and Anugrah. They are moving from the Netherlands to their hometown to launch it. Returned to Thanjavur.” The X platform, formerly known as Twitter, launched on May 28. However, he did not disclose the investment details.

About Yali Aerospace

Founded in 2022 by Dinesh Baluraj, Anugraha, and Mathuravani, Yali Aerospace specializes in developing drones for both civil and military applications. The startup prides itself on its cutting-edge technology and BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) experience, producing drones entirely in India with a focus on creating job opportunities for skilled engineers and scientists.

Yali Aerospace has developed a fixed-wing drone with vertical take-off and landing capabilities. These drones are designed to address critical logistical challenges, such as delivering medicines and organs to remote hospitals. They boast a range of up to 150 km, can carry a payload of up to 7 kg, and reach a maximum speed of 155 km/hr.

Expanding Horizons

Vembu’s announcement aligns with Zoho’s broader strategy of diversifying its investments beyond its core business areas. Recently, Zoho has shown a keen interest in artificial intelligence and data centers.

On May 16, Reuters reported that Zoho is planning to enter the chip-making industry and is seeking government incentives, with an investment plan estimated at $700 million. In March, Zoho announced a significant investment of nearly Rs 1,100 crore (SAR 500 million) to support Saudi Arabia’s digital infrastructure and strategic partnerships aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030.

Zoho’s investment portfolio also includes manufacturing hardware devices such as tech-enabled medical equipment, data center hardware, and augmented reality (AR) devices.

The investment in Yali Aerospace comes at a time when there is a growing interest in drone technology within India, highlighting the country’s expanding technological landscape.

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