Spacetech startup Bellatrix Aerospace has raised $8 Mn in its Series A funding round. The company announced the news through a press release.
BASF Venture Capital through GmbH, and Inflexor Ventures LLP, an early-stage deep tech/IP-focused VC fund, are leading the charge. Other prominent family offices and angel investors participating in the round include StartupXseed, Pavestone Capital, Mankind Pharma Family Office, Survam Partners, Karsemven Fund, and others.
The company will utilise the funding to develop and install the company’s four thruster modules, with the aim of getting its technology to market by the end of the year. The investments will also be used to help the company grow into a full-fledged space transportation technology company due to its innovative Orbital Transfer Vehicle, which can quickly deploy customer satellites to their orbits and perform missions to geostationary orbit (GEO) and beyond.
“We are elated to onboard new investors on our journey to become a key player in the global space-technology industry. Pre-Series-A funding helped us successfully complete the development of numerous critical technologies in-house. With this investment, we will be expanding our product portfolio, adding to our existing talent pool to broaden our expertise, augment our state-of-the-art infrastructure and focus on validation of our products in space.”
Rohan M Ganapathy, CEO & CTO, Bellatrix Aerospace
Earlier, Bellatrix received $3 million from IDFC-Parampara in a pre-Series A funding round in June 2019.
The Journey into Rocket Engineering
Bellatrix Aerospace is a satellite propulsion research and development company based in India. The Bengaluru-based company was founded in 2015 by Rohan Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam and has pioneered several industry firsts, including the world’s first commercial Microwave Plasma Thruster, India’s first privately built Hall Effect Thruster system, and the first High-Performance Green Propulsion system. With an emphasis on greener technology, the organisation is dedicated to ESG compliance and sustainability. The Microwave Plasma Thruster employs water as a propellant. In contrast, the Green Monopropellant Thruster uses a patented high-performance fuel and catalyst that is more environmentally friendly and easier to manage than traditional satellite propulsion fuels.
It intends to launch Chetak, its own rocket, in 2023, which will be powered by liquid methane. A number of their own Aeon engines power the two-stage Chetak rocket.
Bellatrix has received numerous awards for its innovation, including two National Awards.
Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital GmbH.
Inflexor Ventures is a venture capital firm specialising in early-stage deep tech/IP investments in next-generation tech-backed founding teams. Among the funding focus areas are space-tech, health-tech, fin-tech, consumer-tech, clean-tech, edu-tech, deep-tech, and agri-tech.
“Inflexor has always taken a keen interest in technological advancements affecting the space sector. This is evident from our investment in Bellatrix from our first fund, right from their seed round. We see the space industry is growing exponentially, and Bellatrix’s products will play a significant part in democratising access to the space industry with their cost-effective and power-efficient thruster systems, ideal for small satellite manufacturers,”
Venkat Vallabhaneni, Managing Partner, Inflexor Ventures.
The number of satellites in orbit has nearly tenfold increased in the last ten years, and based on announced private-sector missions, it is expected to multiply rapidly in the next ten years. Currently, the Department of Space and ISRO have over 55 registered space tech startups. In addition, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other undisclosed customers have granted contracts to Bellatrix Aerospace. The space qualification testing is expected to be completed within the next few months.
The government has been focusing heavily on encouraging space tech startups to establish themselves in the country. It is also considering allowing foreign direct investment in the space technology sector.