Digantara raised $10 Mn in its Series A1 funding round led by Peak XV Partners with participation from Kalaari Capital
Japan-based venture capital firm Global Brain, Campus Fund, and the founders of IIFL Wealth also participated in the funding round
Digantara said it would use the funding to further develop its Space-Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP), which intends to be a one-stop solution for all space operations
Spacetech startup Digantara on Tuesday (June 20) said it has raised $10 Mn in its Series A1 funding round led by Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India). The round also saw participation from existing investor Kalaari Capital.
Japan-based venture capital firm Global Brain, Campus Fund, and the founders of IIFL Wealth also invested in the round.
Digantara said it would use the funding to further develop its revolutionary Space-Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP), which intends to be a one-stop solution for all space operations. Besides deploying the first phase of its space-based surveillance satellite constellation, the fresh capital will also allow the company to accelerate the development of its downstream Space Situational Awareness (SSA) service with the aim to offer them in a comprehensive manner by Q2 2024.
“We will invest heavily in launching our space tech infrastructure to track previously unobservable objects and significantly increase data points. This will empower stakeholders with comprehensive insights for efficient decision-making in an increasingly complex space environment,” said Anirudh Sharma, cofounder and CEO of Digantara.
The company had earlier raised a seed funding of $2.5 Mn from Kalaari Capital in 2021 for product development and the launch of its demonstration satellite.
Speaking about backing the spacetech startup, Shailesh Lakhani, MD of Peak XV Partners, said, “The team at Digantara is working towards creating the most advanced SSA data collection infrastructure. We believe that this will lead to significant capability in the life cycle of managing satellites, which is a rapidly growing market.”
Founded in 2018 by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed, Digantara is working on building a sustainable space ecosystem by developing a space debris detector. It aims to create a constellation of satellites to track objects as small as 1 cm.
In fact, space debris has become a major issue in the space environment with the growing number of satellites and space discoveries. Besides polluting space, the debris can be very risky for space stations and the operations of live satellites.
The US Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensors tracked 27,000 pieces of orbital debris in 2021. Meanwhile, as per Digantara, inadequate tracking capabilities of objects in earth’s orbit have left 96% of the 1 Mn objects that are currently in orbit untracked. These objects are large enough to cause damage to spacecraft but small enough to go undetected.
The startup intends to enable sustainable and safer space operations by building a comprehensive infrastructure powered by its multi-modal data pool.
In a blog post, Peak XV Partners said that Digantara is now working closely with the Indian, US, Korean, and Singapore space agencies, and is contributing to building sustainable space environment policy and regulation worldwide.
“In the last two years, they’ve made incredible progress. Digantara has launched two satellites to monitor space weather and radiation, and has begun construction of India’s first commercial Situational Space Awareness optical observatory in Uttarakhand,” the startup’s newest backer said in the blog post.
It must be noted that in June last year, Digantara, along with Dhruva Space, received the approval from the Indian Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to launch its payloads in space.
Digantara currently has a team of 30 people, including engineers and PhDs with backgrounds in astrodynamics, photonics, and space weather.
With the spacetech sector emerging as one of the major contributors to the burgeoning Indian startup ecosystem, several companies have received interest from marquee investors from the country and abroad.
Recently, spacetech startup Pixxel raised $36 Mn in its Series B funding round from Google and existing investors such as Lightspeed, Blume Ventures, and GrowX, among others.
In December last year, GalaxEye Space also raised $3.5 Mn in its seed funding round led by Speciale Inves. It is also looking to raise an additional $15 Mn-$25 Mn this year.