The spacetech startup, last valued at $35 Mn, raised the fresh funds at a pre-money valuation of $180 Mn
Agnikul is also in talks with various investors, including HNIs and family offices, for raising funds at part of its ongoing Series B round
Earlier, Inc42 reported that the startup was looking to raise $40 Mn at a valuation of $250 Mn
Spacetech startup Agnikul, incubated at IIT Madras, has raised $20 Mn in its ongoing Series B round from Silicon Valley-based venture capital (VC) firm and existing investor Rocketship.vc, sources told Inc42.
The VC firm marked the closure of its third fund with a corpus of $125 Mn in July, 2022. Rocketship.vc has backed many Indian startups, including Khatabook, Jar, Teachmint among others,
Meanwhile with the fresh funds raise, Agnikul’s pre-money valuation has zoomed 5x to $180 Mn, the sources added. Agnikul’s last reported valuation was $35 Mn when it raised $11 Mn in its Series A funding round last year.
Inc42 reached out to the startup for more details about the deal, but it declined to comment.
Earlier, Inc42 had reported that the Chennai-based startup was looking to raise $40 Mn as part of its Series B funding round at a valuation of $250 Mn.
However, one of the sources told Inc42 that while Agnikul is in talks with various investors, including HNIs and family offices, for the fundraise, it has only been able to get a valuation of $180 Mn for now.
Founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM, Agnikul is the first startup to sign an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Indian government’s IN-SPACe initiative to get access to the space agency’s expertise and its facilities to build Agnibaan.
Agnibaan is a rocket that enables plug-and-play configuration and is capable of carrying up to 100 kg of payload to low earth orbits. This on-demand rocket can be fully customised to meet the customer’s needs at an affordable cost. The rocket has been developed in-house by Agnikul’s team of rocket scientists and engineers.
The startup is backed by high-profile tech investors and entrepreneurs like Sriram Krishnan, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, billionaire Anand Mahindra, and Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath. Its Series A funding round was led by Mayfield India.
Spacetech Startups In Demand
Despite the ongoing funding winter in the Indian startup ecosystem, spacetech startups in the country have continued to attract investors’ attention and funding.
In September, Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace announced raising $51 Mn in a round led by Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC. The startup claimed that it was the largest-ever funding round in the spacetech industry in India.
In August this year, tech giant Accenture announced a strategic investment in earth imaging technology startup Pixxel. Earlier in March, Pixxel raised $25 Mn in its Series A funding round led by Canada-based Radical Ventures.
The Indian government’s decision to open the spacetech sector to private players and liberalise rules for them has led to the emergence of a large number of startups. The Centre also launched the Indian Space Association(ISpa) last year for collaboration between private and public players in the spacetech sector.
As per an Inc42 analysis, the Indian commercial spacetech market will have an addressable market opportunity of over $77 Bn by 2030. The country was home to 124 spacetech startups as of October last year, with around 64% of space or aerospace startups launched in or after 2014, as per an Inc42 analysis.