Space Tech Startup Digantara Raises $10M in Funding Led by Peak XV and Kalaari Capital

Digantara, a Bengaluru-based startup specializing in space situational awareness (SSA), has successfully raised $10 million in a Series A1 funding round. The funding was led by Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India) and Kalaari Capital, with participation from Japan-based VC firm Global Brain, Campus Fund, and the founders of IIFL Wealth. Digantara aims to advance its Space-Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP) to address the limitations in tracking objects and space debris in Earth’s orbit.

The primary objective of Digantara’s Space-MAP program is to ensure the safety of space operations by overcoming the current challenges in tracking space debris. Presently, approximately 96% of the one million objects in orbit remain unidentified, posing potential threats to satellites and human missions.

With the infusion of fresh capital, Digantara plans to deploy the first phase of its space-based surveillance satellite constellation. Additionally, the company intends to accelerate the development of its downstream SSA services, with the goal of deployment by the second quarter of 2024. Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder and CEO of Digantara, stated, “We will invest heavily in launching our space tech infrastructure to track previously unobservable objects and significantly increase data points. This will empower stakeholders with comprehensive insights for efficient decision-making in an increasingly complex space environment.”

Digantara was founded in 2020 by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed, who lead a team of 30 engineers with expertise in astrodynamics, photonics, and space weather. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru and has a presence in Singapore. In 2021, Digantara secured seed funding of $2.5 million from Kalaari Capital.

Shailesh Lakhani, MD of Peak XV Partners, expressed confidence in Digantara’s efforts, stating, “The team at Digantara is working towards creating the most advanced SSA data collection infrastructure. We believe that this will lead to significant capability in the life cycle of managing satellites, which is a rapidly growing market.”

To enhance their capabilities, Digantara is also developing India’s first commercial SSA optical observatory in Uttarakhand, which will track space debris as small as 10 cm in size orbiting Earth. The startup recently launched two missions as a space weather testbed.

The international space situational awareness (SSA) market is expected to experience substantial growth, with a projected incremental value of $642.98 million between 2022 and 2028. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for satellite services, such as communication, navigation, and Earth observation, leading to a rise in the number of deployed satellites. Consequently, there is a growing need for effective SSA systems to monitor and manage these satellites, ensuring their safe and efficient operations.

Digantara’s funding success marks a significant milestone in their journey to revolutionize space technology and address the challenges associated with space debris and situational awareness.

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