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Indian spacetech sector raises $22 million

It’s raining money on India’s spacetech sector. 

Two spacetech startups — Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace and Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos — each raised $11 million in their respective Series A funding rounds. 

Skyroot Aerospace’s round was led by Greenko Group founders Anil Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli. 

Co-founder and CEO Pawan Kumar Chandana told YS, “We will be using the funds to grow our team and complete full development of Vikram-1, which involves qualification of over 100 systems which will eventually work together to build the entire launch vehicle.”

The startup also plans to raise an additional $40 million to fund its growth plans over the next few years.

On the other hand, Mayfield India led the round for Agnikul Cosmos.

Co-founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran explained to YS that the funding will be mainly deployed for expanding its team and scaling up its technology and infrastructure.

Earlier, in March, another Indian spacetech startup, Bengaluru-based Pixxel, raised $7.3 million from Techstars, Omnivore VC, and others.

Spacetech in India has seen considerable growth ever since the government opened up the sector to private players. In fact, PwC estimates that the Indian space economy is valued at $7 billion.

However, the sector still needs considerable funding support, transparent policies, more collaborations, and higher academic awareness. 

Stakeholders believe that the sector is expected to grow exponentially. In an earlier conversation, Ramesh Kumar V, Co-founder of Grahaa Space, said that the spacetech ecosystem might see around five to six unicorns in the next five years.

Read all about how the Indian startup ecosystem is battling the second wave of COVID-19 here.

Here are some useful tools to help you find the nearest vaccine centres in real-time.

You can also share a tribute to COVID-19 warriors, saviours, and survivors here.

The Interview

With increased digitisation due to COVID-19, going global has become slightly easier and cheaper. CEO Sourabh Gupta shares that demand for AI-enabled voice products is growing, and the sector is expected to be a $35-50 billion opportunity by 2025. 

He believes that the world is heading towards a voice-led future as a billion people move online.  

Editor’s Pick: App Fridays

Amid the coronavirus crisis, there has been an overload of information when it comes to testing, treatments, and consultations. 

The PharmEasy app cuts the clutter by allowing users to order COVID-19 related products, read about resources, find the nearest RT-PCR test centres, book home tests, book vaccine slots, and even find alternatives to prescribed COVID-19 medicines. Read more.

Startup Spotlight

Using machines to reduce manual work during farming

Mohit Dahiya hails from an agricultural family in Sonipat, Haryana and had faced a labour shortage during paddy transplanting season. 

This led him to start Jai Bharat, a Punjab-based startup that makes agricultural tools to help farmers reduce manual work during farming.

The startup’s first product is a paddy transplanter machine that reduces water consumption in the production of rice. Read more.

News & Updates

  • Pune-based molecular diagnostics startup Mylab Discovery Solutions has received ICMR approval for its self-use Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) CoviSelfTM for COVID-19. The test will be useful for symptomatic individuals or those who were in contact with positive cases.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space

“We want to hand-hold them [private players] to bring them to our level so that most of the activities that ISRO is doing can be offloaded to industry and we can spend more time on advanced research to take India to the next level.”

Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman, ISRO & Secretary, Department of Space

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