Indian Space-Tech startup Skyroot Aerospace has raised Rs 403 crore in Series-B financing round, in what the company has called the largest funding round ever in the Indian space-tech sector. Leading global investment firm GIC, which has made a number of investments in India, led the funding round.
This investment further validates Skyroot’s strengths in space technology and boosts its capabilities to tap into trillion-dollar space business opportunities, the company said in a press release on Saturday. The company plans to cater to the burgeoning demand from the international small satellite market.
The added fund will help expand the company’s world class space engineering team which currently close to 200 employees with a cumulative experience of a thousand-plus years in the rocket industry.
Skyroot is the first startup to sign an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for sharing facilities and expertise. The company is leading India’s first privately developed space launch vehicles. The flagship Vikram series of launch vehicles, named after the founder of India’s space program – Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Vikram Series rockets are uniquely built with an all-carbon-fiber structure, can launch upto 800 kg of payloads to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
As a result of the funding, GIC India Direct Investment Group’s managing director Mayank Rawat will be joining Skyroot’s Board. “The company has already completed critical milestones towards the development of its commercial Space launch vehicles. With this round, Skyroot has expanded its marquee shareholder base including Myntra and 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,” it said in the press release.
Established just four years ago, Skyroot has successfully built and tested India’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines; the R &D and production activities extensively use advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies.
“We are proud to welcome one of the world’s leading institutional investors as a long-term partner in our mission to ‘Open Space for All’. This round puts us on a trajectory of hyper-growth by funding all of our initial developmental launches, and enables building infrastructure to meet high launch cadence required by our satellite customers. Our objective is to establish ourselves as a provider of best-in-class rocket launch services and the go-to destination for affordable and reliable small satellite launches.” said Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO of Skyroot.
“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’22. We are also planning a demonstrator launch to space this year. This round will help us get to full-fledged commercial satellite launch scale within a year from now. We have started booking payload slots for our upcoming launches.”, said Naga Bharath Daka, Co-Founder and COO of Skyroot.