Agnikul, a Chennai based space startup that is engaged in developing low cost satellite launch vehicles, has received a funding boost of Rs 23.4 crore in pre-series A round.
Early stage fund specialist Pi Ventures spearheaded the funding round. Hari Kumar (LionRock Capital), Artha Ventures, Lets Venture, Globevestor, CIIE and existing investor Speciale Invest were other investors that participated in the round.
The company has said in its press release that it will use the funds for ground testing, fabrication and strengthen its team.
Incubated at IIT Chennai’s incubation center, Agnikul is aiming to develop a satellite launch vehicle for payload capacity of up to 100 kg. Its engine, as claimed by the company, is completely 3D printed that makes it easier as well as less expensive to launch vehicles.
Launchers or satellite launch vehicles are essentially used to carry spacecraft into space.
Srinath Ravichandran, Co-founder & CEO, Agnikul, said, “We started Agnikul with the dream of bringing space within everyone’s reach. We are doing this by building nimble, reliable and modular rockets that can put small satellites in space on-demand. This round of investment from pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and others is a meaningful velocity boost to our journey and will directly help us get much closer to orbit.”
Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures added “I have always believed that India has the potential and the talent to create world-beating IPs and products, not just in the digital domain but also beyond. If done right, there is no doubt in my mind that India can be a leader in innovation on a global platform. We are proud to partner with Srinath and Moin on this journey and believe that Agnikul can be a great example of world-class innovation coming from India.”
According to a report, today the global space industry stands at whopping $350 Bn market. However, the space market is still monopolized by government owned space agencies like NASA, Russia’s Roscosmos and India’s ISRO, with private players like SpaceX commanding a minuscule market share.