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Funding Alert: Spacetech platform Agnikul secures USD 11mn in series A round

Funding Alert: Spacetech platform Agnikul secures USD 11 mn in series A round

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Funding Alert: Spacetech platform Agnikul secures USD 11mn in series A round

Space-tech startup Agnikul on Thursday said it has raised USD 11 million (about Rs 80.4 crore) in funding from Mayfield India, BEENEXT, industrialist Anand Mahindra and others. The series A round saw participation from Globevestor, LionRock Capital and angel investors – Anand Mahindra, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Nithin Kamath, Abhishek Singhania, Aarthi Ramamurthy and Sriram Krishnan, Anicut Angel Fund, LetsVenture among others, a statement said. Existing investors – pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and Artha Venture Fund also participated in this round, it added.

This is the largest funding round for a private Indian space technology company in India, it said. Mayfield India’s managing partner Vikram Godse will join the board of the company. The funds will be deployed to strengthen and build robust technology infrastructure, scale up ground testing and expand the team to help Agnikul become India’s first private player to launch satellites in space, the statement said. In total, Agnikul has raised USD 14 million in funding till date. Founded in 2017, by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM and SR Chakravarthy, Agnikul is building India’s first private small satellite launch vehicle – Agnibaan, a rocket that enables plug-and-play configuration and is capable of carrying up to 100 kg of payload to low Earth orbits. The IIT Madras-incubated startup is looking to complete its first mission next year.

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Earlier this year, Agnikul had successfully test fired the world’s first 3D printed rocket engine – Agnilet. “In these difficult times for humanity as a whole, we are thankful to be able to find excitement, as our investors continue to reaffirm their confidence in our strategy of democratizing small satellite launches. We are thankful to have ISRO’s guidance and happy that the government is enabling private space-tech ventures,” Agnikul co-founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran said. Moin SPM, co-founder and COO of Agnikul, added that the company will continue to strategise on efficient realisation techniques such as 3D printing to build world-class space technology in India. In December 2020, Agnikul became the first space start-up to sign an agreement with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the newly announced IN-SPACe initiative to have access to the space agency’s expertise and its facilities to build Agnibaan.

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