Former DRDO Employees' Founded Nabhdrishti Aerospace Secured Rs 3 Cr in Funding from IIMA Ventures to Develop Fuel-Flexible Gas Turbine Engines

Nabhdrishti Aerospace, a deep-tech startup focused on developing indigenous gas turbine engines, has secured a funding of Rs 3 crore from IIMA Ventures. This funding is part of a pre-seed round and will be instrumental in supporting the company's ambitious project to design and develop gas turbine engines that are fuel-flexible, which means they can support clean fuels and enhance efficiency.

Nabhdrishti Aerospace was founded in 2023 by former employees of Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),  Rohit Chouhan and Arjun Srivatsa. The deeptech startup's initial product, the ND350 Engine, is expected to be market-ready by Q3 2025. This engine will have a power output of 275 KW in turbogenerator mode and can be used for backup power generation, range extenders, and marine propulsion. When coupled with a propeller, it will generate 350 SHP, suitable for UAVs and air taxis.

The recent investment by IIMA Ventures, which has launched a deep-tech pre-seed accelerator fund with SIDBI, marks Nabhdrishti Aerospace as its first investment. This is a significant step for the company and highlights the growing interest in sustainable and efficient energy solutions in the aerospace sector.

Nabhdrishti is an innovative startup that specializes in developing and manufacturing micro gas turbines for aerospace and defense applications. The startup has made significant strides in propulsion technology and have been recognized for their achievements with the Startup Karnataka Elevate 2023 grant. Nabhdrishti's founders — Rohit Chouhan and Arjun Srivatsa, have previously worked at organizations like GTRE-DRDO, GE, and Rolls-Royce.

This year, Nabhdrishti Aerospace reached a new milestone by unveiling their inaugural office and embarking on new horizons. The startup is also known for their collaboration with IISc Bangalore and Prof. Dr. Saptarshi Basu, who fosters sustainable future developments. The leadership team, including CEO Rohit Chouhan, COO Arjun Srivatsa, and CTO Antanu Sadhu, is steering the company towards innovation in aerospace technology.

The company's focus includes designing and developing gas turbine engines, such as a 350 SHP turbo-prop engine intended for aviation and power generation use cases. These engines are designed to offer fuel flexibility, supporting clean fuels and enhancing efficiency. Nabhdrishti Aerospace's efforts align with the growing trend towards sustainable and efficient energy solutions in the aerospace industry.

For an uninitiated, Gas turbine engines have a wide range of applications across various industries due to their high power-to-weight ratio, compact size, and efficiency. These engines are highly versatile and can be adapted for use in a variety of settings, making them an integral part of modern mechanical and energy systems.

Gas turbines are commonly used in aircraft engines for propulsion. These are known for their reliability and ability to generate high thrust. It is also employed in power plants to generate electricity. Gas turbines can be used in combined cycle plants with steam turbines to improve overall efficiency.

Moreover, these turbine engines also find applications in marine propulsion to propel ships and submarines, offering high-speed travel and maneuverability. In Oil and Gas Industry, these turbine engines drive compressors and pumps, especially in remote areas or offshore platforms.

IIMA Ventures, formerly known as CIIE (Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship), is a dynamic incubator and accelerator associated with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad). Established in 2002 and rebranded in 2024, IIMA Ventures has been recognized as a Centre of Excellence by the Government of India's Department of Science & Technology and the Government of Gujarat.

Over the years, IIMA Ventures has launched several initiatives and programs to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Some of their notable achievements include pioneering acceleration in India with iAccelerator, launching India's first climate accelerator Powerstart, and establishing the Bharat Inclusion Initiative & Bharat Innovation Fund. 

In 2023, IIMA Ventures introduced the Bharat Seed Fund, further expanding their support for startups. Their impact is evident in the success stories of startups that began their journey with IIMA Ventures and have achieved significant milestones, including acquisitions by major companies and going public. 

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