India's space sector has witnessed a surge in investment over the past year, with the country recently marking a historic milestone as only the fourth nation to successfully land on the moon and the first to achieve a landing on the uncharted south pole.
Such triumphs typically act as a catalyst for increased investment in the space industry, and this wave of interest is making its way into the private space sector.
In a recent development, AgniKul Cosmos, a space tech startup aiming to launch India's first private small satellite rocket, has secured an impressive Rs 2 billion (approximately $26.7 million) in its Series B funding round, bringing its total raise to $40 million, which includes an $11 million Series A round in March 2021.
Founded in 2017, Chennai-based AgniKul Cosmos operates the very first private launchpad and mission control centre in India. The company is developing its own launch vehicle and 3D-printed rocket engine.
The funding comes from notable investors, including Celesta Capital, and Rocketship.VC, Artha Venture Fund, Artha Select Fund, Mayfield India and existing backers – Pi Ventures and Speciale Invest, and will be allocated toward scaling its existing technology for commercialization and investments in vital infrastructure, such as mobile launchpads and testing facilities, as disclosed in its official statement.
AgniKul's competition in the space industry has also enjoyed significant investments such as Skyroot Aerospace – Agnikul's closest competitor – with a $51 million raise in September 2022; Digantara's $10 million Series A1 funding in June; Pixxel's impressive $36 million Series B round from Google and others in the same month. Additionally, startups like Satsure and PierSight have also attracted investment in recent months.
Currently holding just a 2% share of the $400 billion global commercial space market, the investment growth in the space industry is poised to drive India's aim to increase its share to a remarkable $40 billion by 2040.