Malaysia-based start-up, Poladrone, has raised about $4.29 million in a seed round to fight against rhinoceros beetles. The seed round was led by Wavemaker Partners, the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation, ZB Capital Limited and some angel investors.
Poladrone was founded in 2016 by Cheong Jin Xi, and it operates in Thailand and Malaysia. They have plans to expand into Indonesia, which is tagged as the largest oil palm producer.
Rhinoceros beetles are known for affecting palm photosynthetic ability which makes them yield little or no fruit. This is where Poladrone comes in as they launched Oryctes in August 2020. It’s the world’s first precision spot spraying drone to introduce an automated yet efficient solution to the palm industry.
They quadrupled their team less than a year from 20 to 80 to cope with the demand of Poladrone’s adoption. Cheong stated that the funding will help them scale up operations to serve customers across the region and also attract talents to improve their products.