A Sydney-based business that manufactures products to detect and jam enemy drones has sold equity in its business to a US rival with complementary tech.
DroneShield has confirmed it has completed a $3.7 million share placement of 18.5 million fully paid ordinary shares with Epirus.
The deal will aid both companies as DroneShield focuses more on ‘soft defeat’ solutions, such as jamming, while Epirus uses ‘hard defeat’ technology to physically hurt the opposition device.
DroneShield said the deal will also allow it to scale up its engineering and operations and fund general working capital.
“We welcome Epirus to our investor register,” DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said.
“There are significant complementary areas between our companies, including combining DroneShield’s drone detection and soft defeat systems with Epirus’ hard defeat solutions.”
Epirus CFO Ken Bedingfield noted the importance of the deal amid the emergence of drone technology.
“We are excited to undertake this investment, as we have been watching the rise of militarised drone usage in battlefield for some time,” he said.
“Strengthening our partner ecosystem accelerates opportunities to field innovative solutions to areas with the most pressing needs.”
The agreement means Epirus has acquired a 4.1 per cent shareholding interest in DroneShield.
Last month, Australian Aviation reported how DroneShield had won a $900,000 contract with an undisclosed government agency in Asia, reportedly “allied with the West”.
DroneShield’s deal is thought to include providing the country with its one-handed, pistol-like “DroneGun MKIII” device that can make enemy drones fly back to their operator or land on the spot. It’s also able to shut down any live video the aircraft is shooting.
This is the latest of a number of contracts awarded by international customers, including a $1.8 million order from the US Department of Defense for DroneGun MKIIITM units and a $2 million European sale of DroneSentryTM fixed site systems.
Vornik said the order reflects the company’s expanding global footprint.
“This order is important in several ways. It demonstrates the progression of the business from development of our product suite several years ago, to regular smaller orders, to periodic larger orders, to regular larger orders, which we anticipate to further increase in size over time,” he said.
“The substantial inventory balance that we have created over the last two years enables rapid fulfilment of these orders.
“Further, this order is a testament to the diversity of the DroneShield sales pipeline — with the last three larger orders being US, Europe and Asia-based.”