Meraque Services, MDV to facilitate global growth, expansion

Malaysian drone company Meraque Services Sdn Bhd (Meraque) has announced that it is partnering with Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad (MDV) to facilitate the growth of Meraque’s operations and expansion in Malaysia and the Asean region

In a statement, it said it will focus on the agriculture, plantation, infrastructure and telecommunication sector, through MDV’s specialised financing facility.

Ministry of science, technology and innovation (Mosti) minister Adham Baba said MDV is committed to supporting the government’s efforts in growing the tech startup ecosystem holistically and sustainably.

“MDV is working consistently to increase its financing support for high potential technology startups such as Meraque to ensure their growth and enable them to reach their maximum potential.

“In the agricultural sector, for example, development and production issues have driven the need for the sector to leverage on the latest technology and innovation to boost agricultural productivity and ensure further efficiency in food production with drones being one of the potential tech solutions,” he said

The cooperation between Meraque and MDV is consistent with Mosti's aim to spearhead the development of the local drone technology industry and will ensure that Malaysia is among the top ten countries worldwide in drone preparedness (regulations) and drone usage (market) by 2030, he added.

Md Razalee Ismail, chief executive officer (CEO) of Meraque, said “Meraque has developed the first Malaysian hybrid spraying drone in 2020 for the purpose of spraying pesticides and fertilisers at local plantation fields.

“Currently, the company controls the largest market share for drone spraying services in Malaysia and we are looking to train and hire at least 500 local talents by the end of 2023 to meet the growing demand of the palm oil plantation sector as well as other large agriculture lands such as durian, rubber, coconut, paddy field and pineapple,” he said.

“Financing from a tech financier such as MDV is crucial to ensure that we are able to achieve our targets as planned,” he added.

He added that the palm oil plantation sector faces key challenges in terms of labour shortages and a dip in yield and innovative technology such as drones, robotics and automation have been used by the industry as tools to assist manual labour and increased yield.

MDV CEO Nizam Mohamed Nadzri said, “As a technology financier, MDV possesses the capacity to support and understand the financing requirements of technology companies, hence we are pleased to explore potential partnership with Meraque to facilitate their expansion journey further.”