Reliance has backed Philadelphia-based AI and robotics startup Exyn, the Indian conglomerate announced Thursday in a grant application, further breaking global startups.
Reliance Strategic Business Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has acquired an interest of 23.3% in Exyn for $25 million, the Indian company said.
The Indian company’s investment is part of the Philadelphia startup’s larger Series B funding, which operates robotic autonomy for complex environments without GPS. Reliance did not share the size of the Series B round. Exyn has raised more than $45 million until now, according to Crunchbase.
The AI startup “is commercializing the highest level of aerial drone autonomy in the world, Autonomy Level 4 (AL4.) Exyn’s robots can 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 his site.
Reliance, which operates India’s largest retail chain and the country’s largest telecom operator, said it will find synergies with the start-up on the Indian conglomerate’s initiatives in drones, industrial safety, security and robotics, while “Exyn’s product and technology will accelerate”. development across multiple application areas and commercialization.”
The startup had revenues of $4.32 million, $1.83 million and $0.16 million in CY 2021, CY 2020 and CY 2019 respectively, the Indian company added.
Reliance Industries, or one of its divisions, has made a series of investments this year, including hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo and Google-backed Android lockscreen platform Glance.
In March, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures said it planned to invest up to $221 million in US electronics company Sanmina to set up a joint venture as the Indian giant looks to expand its electronics production. The joint venture aims to create a “world-class” electronic manufacturing hub in India, the two said.
Earlier on Thursday, Reliance said it had agreed to acquire Metro AG’s Indian unit for $344 million. Metro, which entered the Indian market almost two decades ago, operates 31 wholesale distribution centers across the country.