India’s Deep Dive Into Space Start-Ups

In India, a fresh wave of start-up space technology businesses is mushrooming and capturing the attention of the investors interested in joining the space race–from manufacturing palm-sized satellites to space propellants using lighter fuels.

A $3 million raise has been given by a group of shareholders, co-founder Yashas Karanam, to the Bengaluru-based Aerospace, which wishes satellites into orbit using electric and not-toxic chemical thruster systems. The IDFC Parampara venture capital fund leads the pre-series A round for Bellatrix.

There are two of the seven other shareholders in the Suman Kant Munjal family office, one of the largest stars in Bollywood, which is part of the Billionaire family that regulates the Indian motorcycle manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, Deepika Padukone.

Bellatrix and Kawa are two out of a dozen Indian startups developing satellites, rockets and associated support devices capable of powering a variety of industry space tasks. Their collection of funds reflects a major jump in private space capital in India, a major space force that has experienced almost a monopoly over centuries.

According to start-up tracker Tracxn and interviews with shareholders, in addition to Bellatrix and Kawa, 7 space technology firms in India are financed.

Space technology is red heated, partially thanks to an operation which occurs 2,000 km over Earth in the low-earth orbit, which is much nearer and more easily accessible than that of a geostationary orbit with many satellites. In this respect, tiny and cheaper satellites take pictures used in all areas from crop monitoring and geology through defense and city planning.

In the last five years, two dozen Indian startups have evolved into unicorns, most of whom are on India’s increasing middle class and customer boom at home, with more than one billion dollars worth of appreciation. Space technology companies in India belong to a fresh breed of start-ups, and shareholders pay attention to everything from space exploitation to space holidays, considering the increasing worldwide concern.

Bellatrix Investor Jatin Desai, whose Parampara Capital cooperated on the IDFC lender to create IDFC Parampara, said satellite launch scheduled around the world to offer customers trust in such businesses in the coming years.

In preparation for his 2nd lunar mission, the state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has a monopoly on rocket launches. Still, it is free to use ISRO missiles or to ship satellites abroad by Indian companies, such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX or New Zealand.

Most space start-ups in India hope that Parliament adopts a long-lasting Space Law that clarifies how personal firms in the industry can function. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been looking at the stakeholders’ recommendations for a draft bill on space activities that could “perhaps” be tabled in parliament this year.