Bellatrix Aerospace Secures Commitment for $8 Mn in Funding The company develops technology for in-space propulsion systems and orbital launch vehicles

By Soumya Duggal

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Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace has received a commitment of $8 million of funding as part of a Series A round led by BASF Venture Capital, the corporate venture company of BASF SE, and Inflexor Ventures LLP, an early-stage deeptech/IP-focused VC Fund.

The round also saw participation from StartupXseed, Pavestone Capital, Mankind Pharma family office, Survam Partners and Karsemven Fund, among others. The company aims to utilize the funds for the development and testing of four thruster modules and go to market by the end of the year with its technology, said a statement.

The funds are also to be used towards the company's evolution into a full-fledged space transportation technology company with its unique orbital transfer vehicle with capabilities to deploy customer satellites to orbits quickly as well as perform missions to the geostationary orbit and beyond, added the statement.

"We are elated to onboard new investors on our journey to become a key player in the global space-technology industry. Pre-Series-A funding helped us successfully complete the development of numerous critical technologies in-house. With this investment, we will be expanding our product portfolio, adding to our existing talent pool to broaden our expertise, augment our state-of-the-art infrastructure and focus on validation of our products in space," said Rohan M Ganapathy, CEO and CTO, Bellatrix Aerospace.

In the past ten years, the number of satellites in space has increased almost tenfold and based on the announced private-sector missions, it is likely to multiply rapidly in the next ten years. In-space propulsion systems that save costs and use more environmentally-friendly technologies are increasingly relevant to the growing satellite market. Orbital transfer vehicles are becoming the new means of reaching orbit on rideshare missions for micro and small satellites.

"Inflexor has always taken a keen interest in technological advancements affecting the space sector, and this is evident from our investment in Bellatrix from our first fund, right from their seed round. We see the space industry is growing exponentially, and Bellatrix's products will play a major part in democratizing access to the space industry with their cost-effective and power-efficient thruster systems, ideal for small satellite manufacturers," said Venkat Vallabhaneni, managing partner, Inflexor Ventures.

Founded in 2015, Bellatrix Aerospace claims to have pioneered the world's first commercial microwave plasma thruster, India's first privately-built hall effect thruster system, and India's first high-performance green propulsion system. The Microwave Plasma Thruster uses water as a propellant and the Green Monopropellant Thruster uses a proprietary high-performance fuel and catalyst, that is not only more eco-friendly but also easier to handle than conventionally used fuels for satellite propulsion systems, said the company. Bellatrix claims to have bagged contracts from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other undisclosed customers.

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