India’s Reliance backs US AI startup Exyn in $35m funding
Reliance has backed Philadelphia-based artificial intelligence and robotics startup Exyn, the Indian conglomerate disclosed in a stock filing on Thursday, making new inroads in supporting startups globally.
Reliance Strategic Business Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has acquired a 23.3% stake in Exyn for $25 million, the Indian company announced.
The Indian company’s investment is part of a larger $35 million Series B funding from the Philadelphia startup, which leverages robotic autonomy for complex, GPS-lacking environments.
The AI startup “markets the world’s highest level of aerial drone autonomy, Autonomy Level 4 (AL4.) Exyn’s robots are able to navigate autonomously in previously inaccessible environments without a prior map, existing infrastructure (GPS , communications, etc.), or an operator in the loop,” according to a description on its site.
Reliance, which operates India’s largest retail chain as well as the country’s largest telecommunications operator, said it would find synergies with the startup on the Indian conglomerate’s initiatives in drones, industrial security, safety and robotics, while accelerating Exyn’s product and technology development into multiple application areas and commercialization.
The startup earned $4.32 million, $1.83 million and $0.16 million in revenue in 2021, 2020 and 2019 respectively, the Indian company added.
Reliance Industries, or one of its units, has made a series of investments this year, including hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo and Google-backed Android lock screen platform Glance.
In March, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures announced plans to invest up to $221 million in US electronics company Sanmina to form a joint venture as the Indian giant seeks to expand its electronics manufacturing. The joint venture aims to create a “world-class” electronics manufacturing hub in India, the two said.
Earlier Thursday, Reliance said it had agreed to acquire the Indian unit of Metro AG for $344 million. Metro, which entered the Indian market nearly two decades ago, operates 31 wholesale distribution centers across the country.
“With our mission to reduce injuries and fatalities in ‘physical’ industries collecting data in hazardous environments, this investment will accelerate Exyn’s impact and growth. With this new capital, we will further expand our global footprint to significantly improve the safety of those who work in hazardous environments around the world and keep them out of harm’s way,” Exyn Chief Executive Nader Elm said in a statement. Friday.
The story has been updated with more information on Exyn’s Series B funding round.