Space tech start-up Agnikul raises ₹23 crore in round led by pi Ventures

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 18, 2020

Space tech start-up Agnikul has raised ₹23.4 crore in a pre-series A round led by pi Ventures. The Chennai-based company, according to a press release, engineers small satellite launch vehicles, and has pioneered 3D printed single-piece rocket engines.

Hari Kumar (LionRock Capital), Artha Ventures, LetsVenture, Globevestor, CIIE and existing investor Speciale Invest also participated in the latest funding round. The company plans to use the funds for ground testing, fabrication and team expansion, said the release.

Agnikul, operating out of the National Centre for Combustion Research at IIT-Madras, is developing a satellite launch vehicle for payload capacity of up to 100 kg. The vehicle is configurable and can support a payload range of 30-100 kg without impacting the economics, said the release. Since the engine is fully 3D printed, the manufacturing complexity associated with traditional rocket engines is moved to the design in their case, making it an easier and cheaper with ability to deliver launch vehicles within a few weeks, pretty much on demand, it added.

According to reports, the global space industry has grown into a $350-billion market with many private players entering the sector. It is predicted that in 2022, over 2,500 small satellites will be launched, compared to less than 500 today, the release said.

Srinath Ravichandran, co founder and CEO, Agnikul, said: “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. This round of investment from pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and others is a meaningful velocity boost to our journey and will directly help us get much closer to orbit.”

Published on March 18, 2020

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