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Hyderabad-based spacetech startup ‘Skyroot Aerospace’ has raised INR 403 crore (US $51 million) in a Series B funding round led by global investment firm GIC. The company claims that it is the most lucrative funding round in the Indian space tech sector.
Other participants such as ‘Myntra’ and ‘CultFit’ founder Mukesh Bansal, ‘Greenko Group’ founders, Anil Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli, Google board member Ram Shriram’s ‘Sherpalo Ventures’, Solar Industries India Limited, Neeraj Arora (former WhatsApp Global Business Chief), Wami Capital, along with the existing investors participated in the funding round.
Singapore-based GIC’s Managing Director Mayank Rawat is also set to join Skyroot’s board. GIC currently has a workforce of 200 employees.
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Skyroot Aerospace was established by former ISRO engineers Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharat Daka in 2018 with the aim to address the demand from the international small satellite market.
In response to the success in the funding round, founder 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”.
Skyroot Aerospace is the first startup to ink an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which consequently led to India’s first privately-developed space launch vehicles. The flagship ‘Vikram’ series of launch vehicles is named after the father of the Indian space program—Dr Vikram Sarabhai with its uniquely built all-carbon-fiber structure. It can launch upto 800 kg of payloads to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
With R&D and production activities extensively using advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies, Skyroot was able to successfully build and test India’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines.