Investors supply rocket fuel as Indian space cos approach escape velocity


Raghav Mahobe

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Raghav Mahobe

9 reads

From just 1 in 2014, India has seen a mushrooming of private spacetech companies in recent years. Their proliferation and the increased funding flowing into the sector are signs that India’s space reforms are bearing fruit.

October 30, 2023


Key Takeaways

India’s private spacetech ecosystem has seen a flurry of funding rounds in recent months, with Pixxel, SatSure, and AgniKul all raising $15mn-plus rounds

Besides the growing interest in spacetech the world over, government reforms in recent years have been pivotal in promoting private spacetech efforts

From just 1 in 2014, over 200 spacetech companies—including Dhruva, AgniKul, Pixxel, and SatSure—are vying to become India’s first bonafide private space sector success

Investor confidence has been buoyed by estimates that the Indian space economy will grow 5X over the next decade and play a larger part in the international spacetech market

On October 30, Spacetech startup Skyroot Aerospace, which designs and builds futuristic space-launch vehicles, announced a $27.5 million pre-Series C fundraise round led by Temasek. Just last week, the Hyderabad-based company unveiled its Vikram-1 rocket that is capable of deploying multiple satellites into orbit, while also unveiling its new headquarters, a state-of-the-art facility for design, manufacturing, and testing for advanced space launch vehicles.

The investment into Skyroot is only the latest in a string of funding rounds in India’s spacetech sector. Two weeks prior, on October 17, Chennai-based AgniKul Cosmos announced it had raised nearly $27 million in a Series B fundraise. The fundraise capped a memorable 12 months for the IIT Madras-incubated spacetech startup, which test-fired its 3D-printed rocket engine last November at an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility. Armed with this fresh funding, AgniKul wants to push for the commercialisation of its launch vehicle tech.

This follows on from SatSure, which uses third-party satellite imagery to provide business insights, raising $15 million in August and Google-backed Pixxel—which manufactures and operates advanced imaging satellites—raising $36 million in a Series B funding round in June. All of these are just the more notable fundraises the segment has seen in recent months.

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