DroneShield announced it has received a binding commitment from Epirus to raise $3.7 million (US$2.5 million), via a placement of 18,500,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the company at $0.20 per share. This represents a discount of 2.4% to the last closing price of 20.5c per share. The Placement will result in Epirus acquiring an approximate 4.1% shareholding interest in DroneShield.
The shares are expected to be issued under the placement on around 22 November 2022 using the company’s existing available placement capacity under ASX Listing Rule 7.1 (64,881,298 Shares) and will rank pari passu with the existing shares in the company.
Epirus is a high-growth U.S. technology company developing software-defined directed energy systems that enable unprecedented counter-electronics effects and power management solutions to optimise power efficiency in defense and commercial applications. This includes the Leonidas solid-state, software-defined high-power microwave (HPM) technology to enable unmatched counter-electronics effects for a range of use cases. Epirus was founded in California in 2018 and has raised approximately US$300 million (approximately A$450 million) in funding since inception.
Net proceeds raised from the placement are currently intended to be used to fund:
- The scaling up of ready inventory and long lead items, to rapidly fulfil anticipated orders
- The continuation of the scaling up of engineering and operations to support current momentum
- General working capital.
DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik, commented: “We welcome Epirus to our investor register. 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, added: “We are excited to undertake this investment, as we have been watching the rise of militarized drone usage in battlefield for some time. Strengthening our partner ecosystem accelerates opportunities to field innovative solutions to areas with the most pressing needs.”
DroneShield has achieved a number of project wins in the last couple of months, including being recommended by the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) for deployment across US Department of Defense (DoD) bases within the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) consortium, a win of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project for the US DoD with Quantum Research International, and various deployments with the US Army, European Government customers, a first US airport deployment, appointment to the Australian Department of Defence Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Standing Offer Panel, and most recently the $1 million international government order for its DroneSentry-X units.
DroneSentry-C2 Command-and-Control System Upgrade
DroneShield also announced it has released the latest v8.1.0 version of its DroneSentry-C2 Command-and-Control System to its enrolled users globally. Both secure cloud-hosted and on-premises editions of the DroneSentry-C2 software receive regular software updates, which include upgrades to DroneShield’s edge computing server (SmartHub), computer vision AI engine (DroneOptID) and sensor fusion (ComputeNode) components of the system. This update of DroneSentry-C2 includes security improvements including patches for security vulnerabilities, bug fixes and performance improvements.
Major upgrades include:
- Improved drone model classification
- Enhanced optical target tracker
- Enhanced management of false positives
- Addition of RfPatrol handheld sensors for a site plan
- Enhanced Planning Tool to enable streamlined site proposal generation