[Scale Up Report] “Small drone production reaches 100,000 units… Entering the U.S. market next year”

[Scale Up Report] “Small drone production reaches 100,000 units… Entering the U.S. market next year”


ALUX

Establishment of Korea’s only mass production system

Substitute for Chinese products by increasing price competitiveness

Coding and drone combined education at 2,500 schools

Exported to the U.S. Air Force as a counter-profit to China

Expected sales this year: KRW 50 billion, next year: KRW 70 billion


이다인 에이럭스 대표가 인터뷰하고 있다. 사진 제공=에이럭스

Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX, is being interviewed. Photo provided by ALUX


The company that boasts an overwhelming presence in the global drone market is China's DJI. DJI's global drone market share is approximately 60%. Meanwhile, a Korean company has established the only domestic small drone mass production system that challenges the dominion of DJI and is attracting attention. The main character at the center of attention is the startup ALUX.


Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX, met with the Seoul Economic Daily on the 20th and said, “ALUX is the only company that has its factory in Korea and produces more than 10,000 small drones. We are gradually increasing our price competitiveness through mass production.

“We are expanding drone supply and services both domestically and internationally,” she said.



“Demand for drones and robots is increasing due to mandatory public coding education.”


Drone products produced by ALUX are mainly used in domestic educational settings. This is because programs that use drones are in place for students to easily learn to code. Students learn coding through the drone's coding actions and driving function. To date, there are more than 2,500 schools nationwide that have experienced ALUX’s drone and coding education services. As the importance of coding education for software development increases, demand for ALUX drones is expected to continue to rise. CEO Lee said, “The government is focusing on nurturing software talent, and from 2025, coding education will be mandatory for elementary schools,” adding, “With drones or robots, students can intuitively understand how coding is implemented, increasing the efficiency of education.”


To respond to growing demand, CEO Lee plans to double the annual production of small drones from more than 50,000 units this year to 100,000 units next year. Since the research center and factory are located in Incheon, drone development and manufacturing, as well as distribution, after-sales service (A/S), and training of professional instructors, are all possible in Korea. CEO Lee said, “Other startups mostly outsource drone production to Chinese companies, but ALUX has established a drone value chain in Korea.

"We will gradually replace DJI in public education sites by increasing price competitiveness by expanding production," she emphasized.


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Thanks to its domestic production system, ALUX is quickly launching new products that promptly respond to changes in the education market. This is because the entire process of new educational device development, production, and commercialization is carried out domestically, from product planning to prototype feedback, commercialization feasibility data analysis, and follow-up management. CEO Lee said, “We are continuously releasing new functions and patents, such as pairing and hovering."

She added, “In the first half of next year, we plan to introduce ‘Coding Rider,’ a new drone-type model capable of sophisticated coding flight by consolidating the strengths of existing drone models.”

“We have also expanded the drone content business beyond school sites by conducting drone competitions hosted by major local governments such as Gyeonggi and Daejeon," CEO Lee continued.



ALUX Robot. Photo provided by ALUX


In addition to drones, ALUX is also developing robot products, one factor that sets ALUX apart from its competitors. The coding education robot 'VINU' was recognized for its technology, winning the Innovation Award in the robotics category at 'CES 2024,' the world's largest information technology (IT) and home appliance exhibition. This product is the only one in Korea equipped with an independent liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor and touch input function, with its block coding function that allows for connection without separate electronic devices, such as a computer or smartphone, or the installation of an external program. It has significantly improved accessibility to coding education for the digitally underprivileged.



“Spreading K-coding education to the U.S.”


CEO Lee plans to further accelerate overseas expansion, especially in the United States, this following year. As checks on China's high-tech industry are strengthened, it was determined that Korean-made drones could attract attention as an alternative to DJI. More than 30,000 robots have already sold through Amazon in the United States. CEO Lee said, “We are planning to export small drones to the U.S. Air Force,” adding, “As anti-China sentiment intensifies in the U.S., Korean drones of better price and quality have replaced the Chinese ones.” She continued by emphasizing, “We will increase exports of educational drones to the U.S. using the know-how we have gained through coding education in Korea. To this end, we have established a system to respond immediately to parts replacement requests that take local characteristics into account when exporting overseas."


Currently, ALUX is expanding its robot coding education business in Southeast Asia. It has signed a distributor agreement with Malaysian education company ‘Zenius Tech’ and is focusing on expanding the Southeast Asia robot coding education market. In August of this year, a robot coding competition was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the number of participating students increased by more than 40% from the previous year to about 500 students. In the competition, students competed in various categories using ALUX robots and coding tools. CEO Lee said, “Rather than entering the Southeast Asian market as an individual country, we plan to establish a base in Malaysia or Singapore.”



“Ever since we started our business, we have been thinking about expanding
overseas… “Next year’s sales target is 70 billion won.”


CEO Lee Da-in, who serves as co-CEO along with CEO Lee Chi-heon, developed her business acumen by working in strategy and planning at Samsung Electronics, LG CNS, and Samsung C&T before co-founding ALUX in 2015. She has a unique sense for global outreach, considering overseas expansion from the time she created her company name (ALUX). She explained, “We adopted a name that started with the alphabet A for easy overseas exposure. Lux, a unit of light, signifies the company’s goal to spread out in all directions, without boundaries.” .


ALUX’s expected sales this year are 50 billion won. In the first half of this year alone, it recorded 26.1 billion won in sales and 3 billion won in operating profit. Compared to the same period last year, sales grew by more than 40% and operating profit grew by more than 5 times. CEO Lee proposed 70 billion won as the sales goal for next year. There is also speculation that operating profit could exceed 10 billion won, which is rare in the startup industry, next year. ALUX has attracted a cumulative investment of 16.5 billion won to date. In 2021, Netmarble, Wooshin Venture Investment, and IMM Investment participated as investors.


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Sources : https://www.sedaily.com/NewsView/29YLJC7AZC 



ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee 


Business License Number  587-81-00224
Business Establishment 

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry  alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry  02-3665-8956 · Fax 02-3665-8957 

Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved



ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee


Business License Number  

587-81-00224
Business Establishment  

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry

alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry 

02-3665-8956

Fax 02-3665-8957 


Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved