[Funding Alert] Spacetech Start-Up Agnikul Raises INR 23.4 Cr In Round Led By pi Ventures
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Agnikul, a spacetech start-up, has grabbed INR 23.4 crore in a pre-series A round led by deep tech focused early stage venture fund pi Ventures. The round also saw the participation of Hari Kumar of LionRock Capital, Artha Ventures, LetsVenture, Globevestor, CIIE.CO and existing investor Speciale Invest.
The company, which operates out of the National Centre for Combustion Research at IIT Chennai, is developing a satellite launch vehicle for payload capacity of up to 100 kilograms. The vehicle is configurable and can support a payload range of 30-100 kilograms without impacting the economics.
Agnikul plans to use these funds for ground testing, fabrication and team expansion.
Making Space Accessible
With the entire engine 3D-printed, the manufacturing complexity associated with traditional rocket engines is moved to the design in this case, making it an easier and cheaper fabrication process that will be able to deliver launch vehicles within a few weeks. Agnikul claims to be the only company in the world to design a rocket engine which can be printed in a single piece using 3D printing technology.
According to reports, the space industry across the globe has grown significantly into a $350 billion market with many private players entering the sector. It is predicted that in 2022, more than 2500 small satellites will be launched compared to less than 500 today.
“We started Agnikul with the dream of bringing space within everyone’s reach. We are doing this by building nimble, reliable and modular rockets that can put small satellites in space on-demand,” said Srinath Ravichandran, co founder and chief executive officer at Agnikul.
For pi, this is the first investment in what they call ‘Beyond Digital space’ which includes technological innovations that bring 10x differentiated business value but need not be digital.
“If done right, there is no doubt in my mind that India can be a leader in innovation on a global platform. We are proud to partner with Srinath and Moin on this journey and believe that Agnikul can be a great example of world-class innovation coming from India,” said Manish Singhal, founding partner at pi Ventures.