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Spacetech startup Dhruva Space raises $9M in funding

Dhruva Space, a spacetech startup, raised $9.4 million (Rs 78 crore) in a combination of equity and debt from IAN Alpha Fund, Technology Development Board, and other existing investors in its latest funding round.

Founder and CEO Sanjay Nekkanti stated that the capital infusion, including Rs 24 crore in debt, will assist the Hyderabad-based startup in establishing the initial phase of its 2.8 lakh sq ft spacecraft manufacturing facility in the city.

The recent funding arrives amidst significant government support for startups in the spacetech sector. The government had invited founders of spacetech startups like Agnikul Cosmos, Bellatrix Aerospace, Skyroot Aerospace, and Dhruva Space to meet Elon Musk, chief of Tesla and SpaceX, in New Delhi on Monday. However, this visit has been postponed for now.

Dhruva Space has successfully conducted four space missions in the past two years. 

During these missions, the startup has deployed eight out of the 24 payloads authorized by the government’s Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in the last 24 months. These payloads include deployers, satellites, communication systems, and nanosatellite platforms, as stated by Nekkanti.

Nekkanti added that the Hyderabad facility in Shamshabad near the international airport will include manufacturing units for spacecraft solar arrays, satellite subsystems, separation systems for launch vehicles, and an assembly integration and testing facility.

He also mentioned that the company recorded total revenues of Rs 15 crore in the financial year ending March 2024. “We’re looking at a significant revenue multiple next year. In about three to five years, we are looking at about Rs 1,500-2,500 crore in terms of aggregate revenue,” Nekkanti said. 

Additionally, Nekkanti stated that the company intends to raise another financing round exceeding $30 million within the next 12-18 months to address infrastructure needs and fulfill ongoing customer programs.

Established in 2012 by Nekkanti, Chaitanya Dora Surapureddy, Abhay Egoor, and Krishna Teja Penamakuru, Dhruva Space is a space engineering solutions provider headquartered in Hyderabad, India, and Graz, Austria. The company operates in three areas – satellite manufacturing, launch, and ground segments – supporting civilian and defense clients globally.

While the company anticipates satellite manufacturing and ground operations to contribute significantly to its revenue, it foresees launch services as the least significant revenue generator in the future.

With the latest funding round for Dhruva Space, the total raised in Series A funding reaches Rs 123 crore (approximately $14 million).

“With the increasing demand for satellites and satellite-enabled services globally, the funding will be instrumental in supporting the industrialization and manufacturing of Dhruva Space’s full-stack products, enabling significant team growth, increased development of capability and infrastructure, and fueling the international expansion of our business,” Nekkanti said. 

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