India recorded a historic 2022 with its first private rocket launch and multiple other satellite launches, grabbing the eyeballs of the world over
Last year alone as many as 100 spacetech startups got registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation
The growth has come on the back of approximately $233 Mn in funding raised by India’s spacetech startups across 30+ deals between 2014 and May 2023
India, which until a few years ago was seen as shying away from splurging on space missions, recorded a historic 2022 with its first private rocket launch by Skyroot and multiple other satellite launches, grabbing eyeballs the world over.
Not to mention, behind this is the government’s willingness and trust in the country’s private spacetech players, who have massive backing from the Centre in all key areas ranging from funding, technology access, and infrastructure support, among others.
In July, the GST Council set the launchpad for spacetech startups with a 0% GST regime. During the 50th meeting of the Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the initiative was aimed at fostering emerging startups in the rapidly growing spacetech sector.
The buzz in this burgeoning sector has been such that last year alone as many as 100 spacetech startups got registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Further, Microsoft joined hands with ISRO in January 2023 to fuel the growth of spacetech startups in India.
The growth has come on the back of approximately $233 Mn in funding raised by India’s spacetech startups across 30+ deals between 2014 and July 2023, according to data compiled by Inc42.
According to Inc42’s Indian Spacetech Startup Landscape & Market Opportunity Report 2023, the spacetech sector is estimated to reach a market size of $77 Bn by 2030.
At a time when India is inching closer to unravelling the secrets of space and what lies beyond horizons, let’s take a closer look at the 18 Indian spacetech startups that are expected to write the next chapter of the Indian growth story in the nascent but ever-growing spacetech domain.
(Note: The list is not meant to be a ranking of any kind and will be updated from time to time. We have listed the Indian spacetech startups in alphabetical order.)
Here’s The List of Spacetech Startups In India
Here’s The List of Spacetech Startups In India
1. Aadyah Aerospace
Founded in 2016 by Shaju Stephen, Aadyah Aerospace is a provider of aeronautics, space, and defence engineering and technology solutions. Headquartered in Bengaluru, this innovative aerospace startup aims to revolutionise computer vision, communication, and motion control through the integration of AI.
The startup operates in both the space and aerospace sectors, specialising in self-designing satellites, launch vehicle subsystems, and drones.
The startup’s primary focus lies in manufacturing cutting-edge electro-mechanical actuators, control actuation systems, and electro-optic systems for missiles and launch vehicles.
Notably, the spacetech startup has successfully developed a cube set dispenser that securely holds satellites in position during launches until they are deployed into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Within one year of its establishment, Aadyah Aerospace secured nearly $1 Mn from the US-based Keiretsu Forum.
Established in 2017, Agnikul achieved a significant milestone by constructing its own launchpad and mission control centre at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Founded by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and SR Chakravarthy, the spacetech startup has raised a total of $40 Mn across seven funding rounds. Its most recent funding round of $26.7 Mn was held in October 2023 with participation from Celesta Capital, Rocketship.vc, Mayfield India, among others.
The spacetech startup has garnered support from notable angel investors, including Sriram Krishnan of Andreessen Horowitz, Anand Mahindra, Nithin Kamath of Zerodha, and Naval Ravikant of AngelList.
Agnikul has secured a significant achievement as one of the first Indian private enterprises to forge partnerships with both ISRO and IN-SPACe for the development of its projects.
Operating in the fiercely competitive space industry, Agnikul faces competition from players such as Skyroot, Dhruva Space, Pixxel and Astrome.
3. Astrogate Labs
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Astrogate Labs is at the forefront of enabling high-speed communications for small satellites. The startup, established in 2017 by Aditya Kedlaya and Nitish Singh, is dedicated to unveiling its groundbreaking space-to-ground laser communications link.
After getting an undisclosed amount of funding from Speciale Invest in 2019, Astrogate secured $200K from 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund in 2020. With a vision to address the challenge of high-speed communication in space, the startup initially planned to establish a comprehensive chain of optical communication systems.
The spacetech startup’s strategy includes managing a network of optical ground stations and in-space relays to support the increasing demands of satellite downlink operations.
4. Bellatrix Aerospace
Spacetech startup Bellatrix Aerospace was established in 2015 by Rohan M Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam. To date, the company has successfully raised a total of $11.1 Mn in funding across four rounds, with the latest round led by ANIC-ARISE in 2022.
The primary focus of Bellatrix Aerospace lies in the development of advanced in-space propulsion systems and rocket propulsion technologies. The startup is dedicated to making space more accessible and affordable for various applications.
One of its key areas of emphasis is the development of propulsion systems, or thrusters, for heavy (>2 ton), micro, and nanosatellite. The startup primarily targets satellite operators engaged in observation, imaging, navigation, and technology applications within the spacetech industry.
5. Blue Sky Analytics
Founded in 2018 by siblings Abhilasha Purwar and Kshitij Purwar, Blue Sky Analytics is a geospatial data intelligence company that is leveraging cloud and AI to build an API-based catalogue of environmental datasets.
Using its proprietary AI and ML models, Blue Sky provides data analytics for various environmental indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, climate risks (floods, droughts, wildfires, and extreme heat), and environmental monitoring, among others.
The startup’s use cases include monitoring and measuring climate risks, calculating climate VaR (value at risk) and stress testing for various warming scenarios.
Backed by names such as Rainmatter and BEENEXT, the startup has secured $1.5 Mn since its inception.
6. Dhruva Space
Established in 2012 by Sanjay Nekkanti, Dhruva Space is a spacetech startup based in Hyderabad. The startup specialises in providing integrated solutions for space-based applications by offering satellites, earth stations, and launching services as a comprehensive package.
In 2021, Dhruva became the first Indian entity to secure an order for the design and development of space-qualified solar arrays from inception. The startup claims that it stands as the sole private spacetech firm in India to possess both satellite and launcher interfaces.
The startup further successfully tested and space-qualification of its ‘3U and 6U Satellite Orbital Deployers’ and ‘Orbital Link’ in April 2023. These advancements were accompanied by a launch in April, where Dhruva Space independently constructed satellite deployment systems that are compatible with the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launch vehicle.
Founded in 2018, the spacetech startup is focused on a sustainable space environment and working on developing a space debris detector.
Founded by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed, the Bengaluru-based startup aims to create an ecosystem for small satellites in India and has networked with local partners as well. This year, it launched the satellite Pushan-Alpha which will serve as a space weather testbed in a sun-synchronous orbit.
Digantara is also developing an end-to-end infrastructure to resolve the difficulties of space operations and manage space traffic through its Space Mission Assurance Platform.
Having closed its last funding round in August 2022, Digantara has raised a total funding of $2.5M to date.
8. Eon Space Labs
Founded in 2022 by Punit Badeka, Manoj Kumar Gaddam and Sanjay Kumar, Eon Space Labs manufactures optical payloads for satellites, UAVs and Drones.
Eon’s proprietary technology allows its clients to capture high-resolution images using a smaller SWaP (size, weight and power) factor. Its range of offerings include miniaturised optical imagery payload for cubesats DEGA and another under-development prototype Tuniga.
Further, Eon aims to develop a constellation of satellites with its partners for real time monitoring and surveillance of infrastructure and geographies.
9. GalaxEye Space
GalaxEye was founded in 2020 by Denil Chawda, Kishan Thakkar, Pranit Mehta, Rakshit Bhatt, Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy and Suyash Singh. Based out of Chennai, the startup provides multi-sensor imagery via satellites.
Since its inception, the startup has raised around $4 Mn from investors, including Speciale Invest, Artha India Ventures, Anicut Capital, Veda VC, Zerodha founder Nithin Kamath, EaseMyTrip’s Prashant Pitti, and Tracxn founder Abhishek Goyal, among others.
The startup claims that it can provide all-weather imaging at any time, without any atmospheric interference. It is also capacitated to produce high-resolution images using a small satellite constellation.
Equipped with its Drishti sensors, built in-house, the startup aims to launch its first-ever satellite in space in the second quarter of FY24.
In a bid to help insurance companies better scrutinise the damage from natural disasters and artificial crises on the insurance claimants, GalaxEye plans to empower them with its satellite data and images.
Founded in 2022 by Professor Arindrajit Chowdhury and Dr Tausif Sheikh, Mumbai-based and IIT Bombay-incubated InspeCity is a satellite servicing startup that offers satellite life-enhancing and deorbiting services, positioning itself as the ‘space mechanics’.
The spacetech startup is working on developing an autonomous robotic platform on top of ISRO’s polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) stage four’s module, the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM). This will allow InspeCity to service satellites in space and is a step towards a larger plan of building an orbital habitat around Earth’s orbit.
InspeCity is working towards a larger vision of building space-based cities – based on O’Neill cylinders – across major bodies of the solar system, capable of housing 1 Mn people at any given time. For now, the startup has set a timeline of 2030 to deploy an orbital habitat to demonstrate proof of concept of a technology, which would be scalable to house millions of people in the future.
The startup has raised $1.5 Mn in pre-seed funding recently from a clutch of investors, including Speciale Invest, Antler India, Veda VC, Anicut Capital and DeVC India.
11. Kawa Space
Founded in 2019 by Bala Menon and Kris Nair, Kawa Space builds critical earth observation infra. The Mumbai-based startup has raised a total of $1.2 Mn in four rounds. The latest round was announced in April 2023 and led by AWS Space Accelerator. It has brought on board 30 strategic suppliers, which contribute to manufacturing, payloads and rocket construction.
In the year of its inception, it had launched one satellite orbit, while 18 more were underway. Kawa Space aims to make satellite imagery accessible to all. The startup is focused on powering multiple use cases for our agriculture, infrastructure, and environment-focused customers.
12. Newspace Research & Technologies
Headquartered in Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, Newspace Research & Technologies is an aerospace startup that claims to be building next-generation aerospace technology, including unmanned air systems, collective robotics, GPS-denied operations, augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Founded in 2017, the startup is run by a former IAF officer, Sameer Joshi. NewSpace raised $21 Mn in a funding round led by Pavestone Technology Fund in February 2022.
The startup has also bagged a deal from the Ministry of Defence to develop a High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS), which is an unmanned aircraft that operates at altitudes over 65,000 feet and is capable of conducting surveillance operations by staying airborne for months at a stretch.
The startup has bagged a total funding of $33 Mn to date. According to the company’s website, it is pushing for the use of cutting-edge solutions for aerospace in industrial UAVs, collective robotics, AI, and augmented & virtual reality simulations.
13. Omnipresent Robot Technologies
Omnipresent Robotech was launched by Aakash Sinha and Jyoti Sinha in 2010. The startup deals in robotics, electronic sensing and intelligent electronics. The startup develops drones for agriculture, defence and environment and software for operations.
The startup uses computer vision, machine learning and virtual reality to cater to the various needs of its clients. It bagged an undisclosed amount of funding in 2022 from Gruhas Proptech’s Abhijeet Pai and Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath.
During the project planning of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2, the startup presented a concept note on the orientation mechanism design of the Vikram Lander. Additionally, it also designed Perception Navigation Software to create 3D images from data collected by the rover’s cameras and help in navigation.
These images would help the rover to navigate across the lunar surface by allowing accurate assessment of distances from rocks, while also mapping the lunar landscape.
While Chandrayaan-2 was unsuccessful, Omnipresent’s tech is being used on Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan Rover to map the lunar surface and enable the rover’s navigation via 3D imaging.
Founded in 2019 by BITS Pilani alumni Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal, Bengaluru-based Pixxel is building a high-resolution hyperspectral imaging satellite constellation to offer its clients AI-powered insights that discover, solve and predict climate issues in real time.
Pixxel mainly operates in the hyperspectral imaging sphere that gives a better analysis of the Earth’s surface and captures high-resolution images for data analysis. It is looking to launch six commercial satellites, which will be the first set of satellites that will sell data commercially.
The startup launched its third hyperspectral satellite, Anand, in November 2022. The microsatellite weighs 15 kg and has a total of more than 150-plus bands that enable it to see Earth in more detail as compared to non-hyperspectral satellites, the cofounders said. The startup secured $25 Mn in March 2022, along with a strategic round in August 2022 from Accenture.
Established in 2018 by Mahesh Murthy and Ashhar Farhan, Satellize, formerly known as Exseed Space, specialises in the development of customised nanosatellites. The startup also offers a comprehensive suite of allied solutions and services to its global clientele.
Satellize currently has two satellites orbiting the Earth and the startup plans to soon launch an experimental satellite designed for high-frequency radio transmission. Satellize also helps other spacetech businesses flight-test their products.
The startup also leveraged its space technology to address the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Responding to the increased demand for ventilators, Satellize utilised its expertise in creating reliable electronics control systems to develop a ventilator control system capable of transforming any household vacuum cleaner into a fully functional ventilator.
Founded in 2017 by Prateep Basu, Rashmit Singh Sukhmani and Abhishek Raju, the Bengaluru-based spacetech startup, SatSure, uses satellite data to offer ‘decision intelligence’ across the BFSI, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors.
The startup claims to be making space data easily consumable for all its users. It also offers a SaaS product that enables financial institutions to offer on-demand credit to farmers.
This year, the spacetech startup has received investment from banking giants ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC, as part of its INR 120 Cr Series A funding round. It plans to use the funds to own a fleet of four high-resolution data-producing satellites by 2024.
Founded in 2018 by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka, Skyroot builds space launch vehicles.
Skyroot became the first private Indian company to launch a rocket into space on November 18, 2022, creating history. The startup successfully launched its Vikram-S rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The launch took place a year after Skyroot tested India’s first privately developed cryogenic rocket – Dhawan 1.
Skyroot has three different rockets in production, Vikram I, II and III. The startup claims that its rockets can be assembled and ready for launch within 24-72 hours, depending on the rocket and the size of the payload. The rockets can carry between 290 kg and 815 kg of payload, depending on the rocket’s size and the target orbit.
The startup has raised more than $66 Mn in funding so far, with $51 Mn coming in Skyroot’s Series B funding round in September 2022.
18. Vasundhara Geo Technologies
Founded in 2017 by Aditya Tekale, Vasundharaa is a data mining startup that specialises in the acquisition and analysis of data sourced from satellites, aerial platforms, and field sensors.
Employing cutting-edge proprietary deep learning algorithms, Vasundharaa navigates through vast and complex datasets, delivering swift and incisive insights.
The startup boasts a dedicated ensemble of skilled data analysts, software developers, geologists, and business professionals, collectively driving the successful completion of over 75 projects since its inception.
The startup’s impact spans diverse sectors, including agriculture, environment, defence, disaster management, and urban development, effectively catering to the unique needs of its clientele.
Last updated: November 19, 2023, 11:00 AM