Sky is the limit for Indian space-tech startup with record $51 million funding

The $51 million funding to Skyroot Aerospace makes it the highest funding round ever in India’s space technology sector by far.

Hyderabad-based commercial Skyroot Aerospace, the rising star of India’s growing commercial space startup sector, has successfully raised $51 million through a Series-B financing round.

In a tweet, Skyroot Aerospace said: “We are elated to announce our US $51M (INR 403 Cr) Series-B #funding round led by GIC.”

With this round, Skyroot has expanded its shareholder base including Myntra & CultFit founder Mukesh Bansal, Greenko Group founders (Anil Chalamalasetty & Mahesh Kolli), Solar Industries India Limited, Google board member Ram Shriram’s Sherpalo Ventures, Neeraj Arora (Former-WhatsApp Global Business Chief), Wami Capital and others from past funding rounds.

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Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary in the Government of India congratulated Skyroot team in his LinkedIn post. He said:

“The ecosystem of innovation created through iDEX is creating waves in various sectors. An iDEX startup making waves in Space sector!!”

Skyroot Aerospace was founded in 2018 by former ISRO engineers Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharat Daka. The 200-member strong team is working on developing its flagship Vikram series of launch vehicles.

With $51 million back-up, this makes it the highest funding round ever in India’s space technology sector by far. This investment, led by the Singapore-headquartered long-term investment firm GIC, will help Skyroot Aerospace boost its launch vehicle capabilities. It will further help tap into the fast-expanding global space economy that was cumulatively worth $469 billion in 2021.

Image source: Naga Bharat Daka (Left) and Pawan Kumar Chandana (Right), co-founders of Skyroot Aerospace (Skyrrot.in)

Pawan Kumar Chandana, the Co-founder and CEO of Skyroot, told Business Today that this funding will enable them to build “infrastructure to meet high launch cadence” required by their satellite customers.

The space-tech startup aims to cater to the growing demand from the international small satellite market. Its Vikram series rockets built using an all-carbon fibre structure are capable of carrying up to 800 kg payloads to the Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Skyroot’s co-founder and COO Naga Bharat Daka says:

“We have validated all three propulsion technologies in our Vikram space launch vehicles, and completed a full duration test of one of our rocket stages in May this year. We are also planning a demonstrator launch to space this year.”

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Skyroot has successfully built and tested India’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines.

Skyroot (Twitter)

In 2021, Skyroot became the first space technology startup to ink an MoU with the national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for sharing facilities and expertise.

Further, Accenture has recently announced that it has invested $25 million in Pixxel in a series A funding round and Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos has raised $11 million in Series A funding, and Hyderabad-based Dhruva Aerospace has raised Rs 22 crore or around $2.7 million.

The global space launch services market is projected to grow from $14.21 billion in 2022 to $31.90 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 12.25 per cent.