Days after rival Agnikul Cosmos raised a sum comparable to Skyroot Aerospace’s, India’s Skyroot Aerospace announced on Monday that it has raised $27.5 million in a new investment round headed by Singapore’s Temasek, raising the stakes in the nation’s developing space industry.
The Hyderabad-based company is scheduled to launch the Vikram-I, its second commercial rocket, next year. The company launched India’s first private rocket in 2022. Up to 300 kilogram payloads can be carried into low-Earth orbit using the launch vehicle.
Having raised approximately 2.25 billion rupees recently, Skyroot, a company launched in 2018, claimed that this would enable them to accelerate more launches.
The money comes as private space enterprises profit from the successful landing of an Indian spacecraft on the moon. Agnikul Cosmos, a fellow space startup, announced that it has raised $26.7 million in fresh funding ahead of its first rocket launch.
Agnikul has raised $40 million, compared to Skyroot’s $95 million. Skyroot refused to disclose the company’s valuation following its most recent funding round. “This new funding will enable us to accelerate our upcoming launches planned over the next two years as we prepare for the launch of our second mission early next year,” stated Pawan Kumar Chandana, co-founder of Skyroot.
Integrated design, production, and testing facilities for space launch vehicle construction, as well as design space for the 300-person staff, are housed in Skyroot’s new headquarters.
“Skyroot is not only an example of India’s superlative talent and scientific acumen but it also has a message for all of us that a huge potential was lying dormant for several decades before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came and broke the taboos of the past and opened India’s Space Sector for Public Private Partnership (PPP),” Singh stated.
Declaring that the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon mission had bolstered the nation’s private space industry, Chandana told Reuters in August that the company planned to launch at least two times starting in 2024.
Skyroot and the French space companies Promethee Earth Intelligence, ConnectSAT, and the international company Expleo inked a letter of agreement earlier this month to launch satellites and provide software support for their Vikram missions. Skyroot, which is supported by GIC, Singapore’s government wealth fund, did not provide the financial details of those collaborations.