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100+ Indian space-sector start-ups have raised nearly $250mn in funding

Indian Startups in the space sector operate in diverse segments such as launch vehicles, satellites, propulsion systems, ground services etc. It was in mid-2020 that the Indian Government opened up the space sector to private firms and start-ups and enabled them to perform end-to-end activities. As of December 2022, there are 111 start-ups registered with the Government-run IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre).

As per data from the Indian Space Association (ISpA), Indian start-ups have raised more than$245.35mn in funding. In addition to this, GalaxEye Space, a SpaceTech start-up focused on earth observation, announced on Thursday that it had successfully raised funding of $3.5 million. The fresh funding will help accelerate the launch of what they call the world's first multi-sensor satellite for earth observation. According to the company, their technology will enable the production of images with extremely high resolution via a small satellite constellation that, once fully operational, will provide global coverage in under 12 hours.

In a further boost to the space sector, the Indian Government is also expected to unveil the Space Policy in 2023. "The new ‘Indian Space Policy’ followed by the Space Activity Bill will be a complete game changer which will cover upstream and downstream activities and will help formulate a vision to bolster the investment climate in the private space sector. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for satellite manufacturing just like the mobile handsets and telecom equipment will further boost the private space ecosystem and help encourage new startups to come up" said Lt Gen. AK Bhatt(Retd), Director General, ISpA.

Outlining the top developments in the Indian Space sector in 2022, ISpA mentioned the awarding of a Rs.860cr contract to L&T-HAL conglomerate for building 5 PSLV rockets, the pact of OneWeb with ISRO's commercial arm NewSpace India Limited(NSIL) to launch LEO satellites from India, the first private rocket launch from India etc.

In terms of the satellite sector, the significant developments were by the start-ups, this included the launch of the third hyperspectral satellite by 'Pixxel' and 'Dhruva Space' successfully validating its Satellite Orbital Deployer during the PSLV C53 mission. Dhruva Space also launched two nanosatellites for amateur communications in PSLV C54, Digantara built the world’s first commercial space weather sensor and Agnikul Cosmos established India’s first private space vehicle launchpad at Sriharikota.

Edited By Ragul Senthil

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