Skyroot Aerospace is building the country’s first private space launch vehicle.
Skyroot Aerospace, a Hyderabad based space tech startup, has raised $52 million (around Rs. 400 crore) from Singapore sovereign investor GIC, which it will use to make India’s first private space launch vehicle as early as mid-2023.
Naga Bharath Daka, co-founder of Skyroot and ISRO’s former engineer, told Reuters that the funding will aid to get “full-fledged commercial satellite launch scale within a year from now.” The company has also commenced booking payload slots for their upcoming launches, he added.
Claiming it as the biggest funding round ever in the Indian space-tech sector, Skyroot Aerospace further aims to use the money to expand its space engineering team and fasten its goals to launch heavy payloads into low-Earth orbit.
“This is a great validation of our efforts towards becoming the best-in-class space launch service provider globally. The round will fund infrastructure and initial launches,” Skyroot wrote on Instagram.
The company, founded by the former scientist of Indian Space Research Organisation – Pawan Kumar Chandana and along with Naga Bharath Daka, is the first startup to sign an MoU with ISRO for sharing facilities and expertise. Skyroot is building the country’s first private space launch vehicle called Vikram, which is a series of rockets that can meet a wide range of orbital inclinations and altitudes.
Skyroot’s funding comes amid a push by the government of India to boost private space startups that can offer affordable space missions and complement its state-run programme.