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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 23:15 IST

22 space tech startups that puts India into higher orbit

With over $233 million in funding raised in the last one decade, India’s space tech startups are booming.

Saqib Malik
ISRO
Representational image of a space station. | Image:Shutterstock
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Start up funding and regulation: Every year several space tech startups are getting registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and over $233 million in funding has been raised by India’s space tech startups in multiple deals, during the last one decade. Will this boom in the space tech ecosystem be influenced by Indian Space Policy 2023? Republic Business takes a deep dive. 

Indian Space Policy

As the country witnesses a new space economy, foray of new private players in the space sector, and enabling frameworks such as the Indian Space Policy 2023, will propel India towards scaling up its global space economy from up to 3 per cent currently to a sizeable 9 per cent by 2030, a Delloite report has said. As over 100 space tech startups have registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation in a period of last year. 

Image credit: Unsplash  

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Startup Synergy 

The year 2016 saw several tech disruptions, and one among these was Aadyah Aerospace, a provider of aeronautics, space, and defence engineering solutions.  The Bengaluru-headquartered company endeavours to be a trendsetter in computer vision, communication, and motion control through the integration of AI. Astrogate Labs, with its core operations based out of Bengaluru is leading the startup movement to enable high-speed communications for small satellites.  Aditya Kedlaya and Nitish Singh led Astrogate Labs’ foundation in 2017. 

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The beginning to 2024 was eventful for India’s space tech. Space technology startups Dhruva Space, Bellatrix Aerospace, and TM2Space were in news, after their payloads on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - C58 XPoSat Mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation on January 1, 2024.

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The buzz was created by Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space for its LEAPTD (Launching Expeditions for Aspiring Technologies Technology Demonstrator), demonstrating microsatellite subsystems. Bellatrix Aerospace, based in Bengaluru, was reported  to be launching two payloads, including the Rudra 0.3 HPGP green monopropellant thruster and ARKA 200, another thruster variant. n April 2023, Bellatrix and Dhruva Space jointly utilised space in the POEM module of PSLV-C55 to launch their individual payloads. TakeMe2Space also known as TM2Space, from Bengaluru also caught the attention of country’s satellite policy makers. 

Space tech, aero space  

Chennai-based Agnikul started its journey seven years ago and has managed to make a mark by constructing its own launchpad and mission control centre at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The company is founded by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and SR Chakravarthy and has garnered support from prominent angel investors, including Sriram Krishnan of Andreessen Horowitz, Anand Mahindra, Nithin Kamath of Zerodha, and Naval Ravikant of AngelList. To its credit, Agnikul became one of the first Indian private enterprises to forge partnerships with both ISRO and IN-SPACe for the development of its projects. 

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Drone maker Garuda Aerospace after having raised Rs 25 crore in a bridge round of funding is a formidable player in the tech space. The funding round was led by Venture Catalysts, India's first integrated incubator and a leading investor for early-stage startups, and WeFounderCircle. Several prominent investors, including Hems Angels, San Angels, Peaceful Progress Funds, had also participated in the funding round. The Garuda team consists of enthusiastic and dynamic engineers, who have a comprehensive approach towards design and development, thereby, making them well knit. The team’s engineers experiment with new design methodologies that can be incorporated in future projects. Garuda Aerospace has already hinted to go for an initial public offering (IPO). 

Tech Evolution 

Spacetech startup Digantara’s focus on a sustainable space environment and working on developing a space debris detector has struck a chord with many.  Founded by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed, the Bengaluru-based startup, as per a digital media outlet tracking country’s startup ecosystem, aims to create an ecosystem for small satellites in India and has networked with local partners as well. 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. 

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Incubated at IIT-Kharagpur as an R&D company, Bengaluru-based Elena Geo Systems is working in the niche segment of NavIC-based monitoring. The company seeks to transform navigation in the Indian Region by providing end-to-end NavIC-enabled services and products. These next generation state-of-the-art technologies provide precision, stability, security and reliability required for 21st century location-based services and applications. Recently the organisation launched India’s first composite NavIC chip.

Among other names in the space tech include Eon Space Labs, GalaxEye Space, InspeCity,  Kawa Space, Newspace Research & Technologies,  Omnipresent Robot Technologies,  Pixxel, Satellize, SatSure, Skyroot and Vasundhara Geo Technologies

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 22:38 IST

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