Space tech startup Skyroot Aerospace has announced that it has raised US $51 million (Rs 403 crore) in a Series-B round. The funding was led by Singapore-based GIC, whose Managing Director Mayank Rawat will join Skyroot’s board.
The latest funds will be utilised by the startup to expand its engineering team. The company currently has a workforce of nearly 200 employees, the company said.
Hyderabad-based start-up claimed in their release that it is the most significant and lucrative funding round ever in the Indian space tech sector. In comparison, some of the big names like Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos raised $11 million in Series A funding while Dhruva Aerospace secures $2.7 million in funding.
Former ISRO engineers Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharat Daka founded the startup in 2018 with the aim to cater to the burgeoning demand from the international small satellite market.
Pawan Kumar Chandana said, “The round puts us on a trajectory of hyper-growth by funding all of our initial developmental launches, and enables building infrastructure to meet the high launch cadence required by our satellite customers”.
Earlier in January 2022, the company had raised also $4.5 million in a bridge round to Series B led by early Google investor Ram Shriram through his venture capital firm Sherpalo Ventures.
With the latest funding, Skyroot has expanded its shareholder base which includes 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.
Rothschild & Co India was the financial advisor for this funding round.
Simultaneously with the funding, the start-up 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).
Naga Bharath Daka, Co-Founder and COO of Skyroot said, “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.”
“We are also planning a demonstrator launch to space this year. This round will help us reach a full-fledged commercial satellite launch scale within a year. We have started booking payload slots for our upcoming launches,” he added.
Image credit - Skyroot Aerospace