Hyderabad-based space tech startup Skyroot Aerospace has raised US $51 million (Rs 403 crore) in a Series-B financing round. This is the largest funding round ever in the Indian spacetech sector, a release by the company claimed.
In contrast, Accenture recently announced that it has invested $25 million in Pixxel in a series A funding round. Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos has, as of now, raised $11 million in Series A funding and is reportedly raising further funds in a new round; Hyderabad-based Dhruva Aerospace, in October 2021, raised Rs 22 crore or around $2.7 million.
Singapore-headquartered GIC led the funding round. Mayank Rawat, Managing Director of GIC India Direct Investment Group will be joining Skyroot’s Board, the release said.
Rothschild & Co India were the financial advisors for this funding round. The added fund will help expand Skyroot’s engineering team which currently has close to 200 employees, a release by the company said.
Currently, Skyroot has been working on developing the country’s first privately developed space launch vehicles. Their Vikram series rockets are built with an all-carbon-fibre structure and can launch up to 800 kg of payloads to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
“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,” Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO of Skyroot said.
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.
Earlier in January, the startup announced that it had raised $4.5 million in a bridge round to Series-B led by early Google investor Ram Shriram through his venture capital firm Sherpalo Ventures.
Before that in 2021, the company had raised $11 million in a Series-A round led by Greenko founders, while $1.5 million in a seed round was funded by Myntra and CureFit founder Mukesh Bansal.
“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,” Naga Bharath Daka, Co-Founder and COO of Skyroot said.
“We are also planning a demonstrator launch to space this year. This round will help us get to a full-fledged commercial satellite launch scale within a year from now. We have started booking payload slots for our upcoming launches,” it added.
As of now, 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.