Chinese Agricultural Drone Startup XAG to Debut in STAR Market

On Monday, the IPO application of XAG, a domestic agricultural drone maker, was accepted by the Shanghai Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market). XAG plans to raise 1.51 billion yuan ($235 million), which would be used for a digital agricultural intelligent manufacturing base, construction of an R&D center in Guangzhou, as well as , marketing and service system development.

According to the prospectus, XAG was established in April 2012, and its main business is the development of intelligent agricultural equipment and intelligent agricultural management systems. Their products include drones, unmanned vehicles, self-driving machinery instruments, and equipment for the Internet of Things all of which are used for agricultural purposes.

According to Tianyancha, XAG has completed six rounds of financing before. The latest round was from GL Ventures, exceeding 300 million yuan. In November 2020, it received 1.2 billion yuan of financing from Baidu Capital and Softbank Vision Fund.

According to the report released in March this year, as of December 31, 2020, XAG has deployed more than 60,000 agricultural autonomous devices in 42 countries and regions around the world, serving more than 9.31 million farmers.

Further, according to the company’s prospectus, revenue in the first six months of this year was 469 million yuan, and total R&D expenditure since 2018 has reached nearly 300 million yuan.

As a technology-intensive enterprise, XAG is still losing money. In 2020 and the first half of 2021, its net losses were 59.8323 million yuan and 85.5584 million yuan respectively. As of June 30, 2021, the accumulated unrecovered losses were 224 million yuan. In the filing, XAG attributed the losses to expedited technological development, high R&D cost, and the company’s rough new product line.

From 2018 to 2020, the comprehensive gross profit margin of XAG was 32.54%, 32.74% and 35.60% respectively, showing a steady upward trend. However, in the first six months of 2021, the comprehensive gross profit margin was 22.11%. In the IPO document, XAG attributed the decline in gross profit margin to the reducction in sales price of some of its new products and also due to the worldwide chip shortage.

In the field of intelligent agricultural management systems, XAG launched XSAS, a digital production management platform specially developed for farm managers. The system can help agricultural managers utilize smart farming, agronomy, agricultural machinery and agricultural materials operation. Intelligent agricultural equipment can be connected to XSAS, and users can remotely supervise the equipment through the system while overseeing the operation process.

In the agricultural UAV market, XAG’s rival DJI released its T40 and T20P at a press conference themed “To Cultivators” in the middle of this month.

SEE ALSO: DJI Launches Agricultural Drones T40 and T20P