Skyroot Aerospace, the city-based national award winning start-up building India’s first private space launch vehicle, announced the successful completion of a new round of funding led by early Google investor Ram Shriram through his venture capital firm ‘Sherpalo Ventures’ on Thursday.
The $4.5 million bridge round to ‘Series B’ fund was also co-led by Wami Capital existing investor Neeraj Arora (former-WhatsApp CBO) and former Google executive Amit Singhal. Skyroot had last year raised $ 11 million ‘Series-A’ round funding led by Greenko founders (with participation from public listed Solar Industries India Limited, WorldQuant Ventures, Graph Ventures & others).
It began with $ 1.5 million seed round funded by Mukesh Bansal in mid-2018 through his incubator Meraki Labs. This brings the total capital raised by the start-up to around $ 17 million, the largest by an Indian space start-up yet, informed founders Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka in an official release.
Skyroot is also the first start-up with which ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for sharing facilities and expertise. “While the country has long been a leader in rocket launch capability, we wish to take it to the next level disrupting the status quo in global launch market with innovation and low cost,” said Mr. Shriram, one of the first investors and board members of Google and founder of Sherpalo Ventures.
Wami Capital CEO Chetan Mehta said: “We are excited to partner with the Skyroot team, who we strongly believe is on its journey to become the leading space launch player globally. Their mission to democratise space access will open up new areas of opportunities and contribute to India’s offering of a strong space eco-system to the world.”
“We are thrilled to have support from such incredible investors validating Skyroot’s vision and execution over the past three years. We have successfully demonstrated three cutting edge propulsion technologies through our Vikram series of space launch vehicles and this year, we will be testing our final rocket stages,” said co-founder and CEO Mr. Pawan Kumar. “2022 is going to be a big year for us and the entire Indian space eco-system,” added co-founder and COO Mr. Naga Bharath.