Where, now, the universe is a stage, this Indian space tech company has literally put rocket science into practise, by engineering out small satellite launch vehicles, based out of Chennai. Agnikul, pioneering 3D printed single-piece rocket engines, has grabbed INR 23.4cr in a pre-series A round led by pi Ventures with participation from Hari Kumar (LionRock Capital), Artha Ventures, LetsVenture, Globevestor, CIIE and existing investor Speciale Invest. Agnikul plans to use these funds for ground testing, fabrication and team expansion.
Agnikul, operating out of National Centre for Combustion Research at IIT Chennai, is developing a satellite launch vehicle for payload capacity of up to 100 kgs. The vehicle is configurable and can support payload range of 30-100 kgs without impacting the economics. Since the engine is fully 3D printed, the manufacturing complexity associated with traditional rocket engines is moved to the design in their case, making it an easier and cheaper fabrication process that will be able to deliver launch vehicles within a few weeks, pretty much on demand. Agnikul is the only company in the world to design a rocket engine which can be printed in a single piece using 3D printing technology.
Agnikul’s diverse team of rocket scientists, engineers and investors are working on the horse-blinded vision of making space both accessible and affordable.
According to reports, space industry across the globe has grown significantly into a $350 billion market with many private players entering the sector. It is predicted that in 2022, 2500+ small satellites will be launched compared to less than 500 today.
Srinath Ravichandran, Co founder & CEO, Agnikul, said, “We started Agnikul with the dream of bringing space within everyone’s reach. We are doing this by building nimble, reliable and modular rockets that can put small satellites in space on-demand. This round of investment from pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and others is a meaningful velocity boost to our journey and will directly help us get much closer to orbit.”
Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures, added, “I have always believed that India has the potential and the talent to create world-beating IPs and products, not just in the digital domain but also beyond. If done right, there is no doubt in my mind that India can be a leader in innovation on a global platform. We are proud to partner with Srinath and Moin on this journey and believe that Agnikul can be a great example of world-class innovation coming from India”
pi Ventures is a deep tech focused early stage venture fund with investments in Applied Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Blockchain. Agnikul is their first investment in what they call ‘Beyond Digital space’ which includes technology innovations that bring 10x differentiated business value but need not be digital.