Spacetech Startup Digantara Raises Seed Funding Of $2.5 Mn From Kalaari Capital
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Spacetech startup Digantara has announced on Thursday to have raised $2.5 million as part of their Seed round of funding from Kalaari Capital.
The funding will accelerate Digantara’s product development and enable them to launch their first satellite (technology demonstration mission) to LEO, sooner than expected. Overall this will strengthen Digantara’s efforts in making space operations safer and increasing orbital sustainability. The startup is incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Led by three 22-year-old founders - Anirudh N Sharma, Rahul Rawat, Tanveer Ahmed - Digantara is set to take on the problem of space junk and eliminate the risk of collisions in space. Massive fleets of satellites in space are required to constantly maneuver to avoid not only one another but also potentially damaging space debris. This can only be done with greater oversight to collision avoidance instructions, for which SSA (Space Situational Awareness) is paramount. Space Situational Awareness refers to keeping track of objects in orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time. Digantara is India's first startup to be working in this space, and globally they are pioneers of the hybrid approach to debris tracking, the company said.
“In the dawn of the New Space Era, Space Safety and Sustainability is a major concern to the proliferated LEO Ecosystem. Just like the aviation sector, Space inevitably requires an efficient traffic management system. At Digantara, we are pioneering an active surveillance technology-based in space to provide precise orbital insights to ensure continued safe space operations. It gives us an unparalleled advantage to enhance the quality of the data. We are elated to be supported by Kalaari Capital and to partner with Mr. Ravinder Singh and the team for expressing affirm confidence in Digantara and joining us in the journey of building a global space company. This funding will add more fuel to our spaceflight payload development and accelerate the launch of our first mission,” said Anirudh Sharma, chief executive officer, Digantara.
Existing SSA solutions are either ground-based or utilize passive sensors alone, limiting debris tracking in terms of range, accuracy, sensitivity, number of objects detected, and overall data. The team of space architects at Digantara is developing a unique patent-backed comprehensive SSA solution suite for modeling centimeter-sized Resident Space Objects (RSO) and space weather in Low Earth Orbit. They combine space weather data to their prediction models to enhance data accuracy further than current technology permits. This significantly helps reduce uncertainties in space where minor shifts in position can be catastrophic for satellites and space objects and cause damage worth millions of dollars, the startup shared.
The team has also recently managed to bring in Dr. Satyanarayana Malladi as the chief scientific officer (CSO).
“Space Situational Awareness will be a critical component for the functioning of the Lower Earth Orbit Economy. As the New Space Economy grows, Digantara's offerings not only help deal with space debris but will be the infrastructural enabler on which commercial missions to space and space-based services will be built. Digantara’s young founders’ passion, capability, and sincerity of purpose to explore, discover and contribute to the journey of space and solve its ambiguities is inspirational,” added Ravinder Pal Singh, partner, Kalaari Capital.