Investor interest in space technology and satellite services is rising with at least five Indian tech startups — Pixxel, Agnikul Cosmos, Satsure, Satyukt Analytics and PierSight – raising venture funds in the last five months. Market intelligence platform Tracxn notes that till August, the Indian space-tech sector attracted $62 million in funding for 2023, a 60% increase compared to the same period last year.

The success of the Chandrayan-3 moon mission and the opening up of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s services to private partners have been the key triggers for increased interest in Indian space-tech startups. ISRO has to its credit eight successful rocket launches including Chandrayan-3 in the last year.

Bengaluru-based Pixxel, a space data company that develops a network of hyperspectral earth imaging satellites received $36 million from Google, Radical Ventures, Lightspeed, Blume Ventures, GrowX, Sparta and Athera in June. Agnikul Cosmos, an IIT-Madras-based Indian space-tech startup that attempts to democratise space exploration by making it accessible and cost-effective, announced the successful closure of its Series-B fundraising of $26.7 million in October. Satsure, a deep tech company that leverages advances in satellite remote sensing, machine learning, big data analytics etc., raised Series A funding of $ 15 million from Baring Private Equity Partners India, Promus Ventures, Omidyar Network India, xto10x, Force Ventures, Luckbox Ventures and IndigoEdge Advisors in August. Satyukt Analytics, a company that uses satellite remote sensing technology in agriculture and agribusiness to provide services worldwide raised $1.2 million in seed funding from NabVentures in June. PierSight, which secured $600,000 in pre-seed funding from All In Capital in September was another company that has attracted investor interest during the year.

The global interest India’s Chandrayan-3 mission has generated has also resulted in a US company SpaceVIP announcing the launch of its operations in the country. SpaceVIP offers a variety of cutting-edge space and space-adjacent experiences to clients, from space balloons to the Zero Gravity plane where they experience lunar, martian, and zero gravity.

Tracxn in a report in August 2023 had noted that India has shown a remarkable display of growth and innovation, and India's space-tech startup ecosystem has secured its position as a formidable contender on the global stage.

According to Tracxn, India ranks seventh in terms of funding within the international SpaceTech landscape for the year.

“From a modest $35 million funds raised between 2010 and 2019, the sector experienced a meteoric rise in 2020, securing a remarkable $28 million in funding. This trend continued with exponential growth, reaching $96 million in 2021 and $112 million in 2022, marking a 17% increase from the previous year. This steady expansion in funding sets the Indian space-tech sector apart from other industries affected by funding challenges and macroeconomic fluctuations”, the report says.

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