Indian space technology startup Pixxel on Wednesday said it has secured Rs 37 crore in seed round funding led by Blume, growX and Lightspeed. The company plans to use the fund to develop its first satellite, which is expected to be launched later this year, and accelerate development of the second satellite.
Pixxel is planning to make and launch a constellation of 30 satellites between December 2022 to June 2023.
"We have been able to manage a seed fund of USD 5 million (about Rs 37 crore ) from Blume venture, Lightspeed and growX venture. There is a follow-up investment from growX and Invendus Capital and Stanford Angels," Pixxel CEO Awais Ahmed said while sharing details of the project.
The seed round funding also saw the participation of former President of satellite imaging company Planet Labs Ryan Johnson.
"Johnson had founded Canadian earth imaging company Blackbridge which was acquired by Planet Labs. He will be joining our board now," Ahmed said.
Pixxel had earlier raised $7,00,000 (about Rs 5 crore) in pre-seed funding from Techstars and growX ventures and others in June 2019.
Ahmed said the entire operations of the company, including manufacturing of satellites and their launch, should cost in the range of Rs 220 crore to Rs 375 crore.
The company will start monetising satellites from next year onward, he added.
The company will use a Russian facility for the launch of the first satellite as processes in the country were taking time.
Ahmed said the Indian government's move to allow participation of private companies is an encouraging step and the company will look to collaborate with Indian Space Research Organisation, once their system for private entities is ready."People at ISRO have been more receptive to ideas now. We will look to collaborate with them for our future launches. We look forward to building from India for not only this country but the world," Ahmed said.