Bangalore-based Team Indus was making all the right noises for India globally. In 2014, It became one of the five lucky teams to participate in the prestigious Google Lunar X Prize and even bagged $1 million prize money, in 2015
Notably, Team Indus was the only Indian entry into Google Lunar X Prize, a global race to reach the moon. The startup is supposed to land a robot on the Moon’s surface and take HD pictures.
Today however, in a breaking news report by The Ken, Team Indus has hit a major roadblock after Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) cancelled the contract because the startup could not raise sufficient funds.
According to the report, The contract was signed with Antrix Corporation Ltd., an ISRO’s commercial arm, to launch the indigenously developed and privately-funded lunar rover onboard ISRO’s PSLV launch vehicle. The launch was scheduled for December 2017 but was postponed to March due to insufficient funds.
The contract was cancelled in December, according to ISRO officials. The officials also mentioned that the startup was almost bankrupt.
The total cost of the mission was estimated a $70 million, of which the startup had raised about $35 million (approximately ₹250 crore), and about to raise the remaining amount by March 2018.
Team Indus also had a “rideshare” agreement with Japanese space startup to carry a 4 kg robotic rover on its 600-kg spacecraft.
“While TeamIndus did remarkably well when it came to raising money from marquee angel investors, it needed both public donations and institutional investors, neither of which are easy to find in India for such ventures”, said the The Ken report by Seema Singh.