Science

To find $35 million to get to moon, Team Indus will try crowd-funding

Shobha Roy Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 04, 2017

Julius Amrit, co-founder, TeamIndus   -  Debasish Bhaduri

TeamIndus, a private aerospace start-up, and the only Indian team attempting to launch a spacecraft on the moon, is exploring crowd funding, sponsorship and ticketing route as possible fund raising options.

The start-up which has, so far, raised $35 million (approximately ₹250 crore), has to raise the other half of $35 million within a revised deadline of March 2018. The project is estimated to cost close to $ 65-70 million (approximately ₹ 500 crore).

According to Sheelika Ravishankar, Marketing and Outreach, TeamIndus, the company would launch a platform (for crowd funding) in the next couple of weeks inviting people to contribute towards its ‘Moon Mission’.

The Bengaluru-based start-up, is among the five finalists in the $30 million race to the moon, under the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. It invites privately funded teams to place a spacecraft on the moon’s surface, travel 500 metres and transmit high definition video and images back to earth.

“We have raised half of our total requirement. For the balance, conversations are on, and will fructify soon,” Ravishankar told BusinessLine.

The investors include Nandan Nilekani, co-founder Infosys, Rajiv Mody, CMD and CEO of Sasken Communication Technologies, Subrata Mitra and Shekhar Kirani, partners, Accel Partners and Sharad Sharma, co-founder, iSpirit. Investments have been made in their private capacities.

The firm got a breather with the competition deadline being extended by three months. The previous deadline was in December this year.

“Funding is an issue, which we are tring to figure out. We hope to put things together soon,” Julius Amrit, co-founder, TeamIndus, India said.

The company will launch its spacecraft aboard ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The team is in talks with its launch providers to get a suitable date.

The team, which has 100-odd members comprise young engineers and a dozen retired ISRO scientists.

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Published on December 04, 2017
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