Digantara, Bengaluru-based spacetech startup raised seed funding of $2.5 million from Kalaari Capital. According to the official statement, Digantara will use this funding to launch its first satellite (technology demonstration mission) to LEO(Low Earth Orbit) and to accelerate its product development.
The SID- IISc-incubated startup is aimed at strengthening its efforts in increasing orbital sustainability and making space operations safer.
Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder & CEO of Digantara, said in a statement. “In the dawn of the new space era, space safety and sustainability is a major concern to the proliferated LEO Ecosystem. Just like the aviation sector, space inevitably requires an efficient traffic management system. We are elated to be supported by Kalaari Capital and to partner with Mr. Ravinder Singh and team, for expressing affirm confidence in Digantara, and joining us in the journey of building a global space company. This funding will add more fuel to our spaceflight payload development and accelerate the launch of our first mission,”.
Founded in 2018 by Anirudh Sharma, Tanveer Ahmed and Rahul Rawat, Digantara is working on space situational awareness (SSA) and space surveillance i.e. keeping track of objects in orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time. It is looking to solve problems related to space debris and eliminate the risk of collisions in space.
Anirudh Sharma explains that Digantara is working on active surveillance technology-based solutions to provide precise orbital insights to ensure continued safe space operations.
The startup stated “Massive fleets of satellites in space are required to constantly manoeuvre to avoid not only one another, but also potentially damaging space debris. This can only be done with greater oversight to collision avoidance instructions, for which SSA is paramount,”
Prior to this seed funding, Digantara had received a grant of Rs. 50 Lakh after they won at ISRO ARISE ANIC – Category 3 Space Robotics/VR/AR/Outer Space Monitoring programme. The team had also recently won OneWeb’s 2021 Innovation Challenge. As a part of this, the startup will work with OneWeb on an unspecified research and development project.
Apart from this, Digantara also recently onboarded Dr. Satyanarayana Malladi (Former Project Director), Space Borne Lidar at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO, as its CSO (Chief Scientific Officer).
Talking about the investment, Ravinder Pal Singh, Partner at Kalaari Capital explained that Digantara’s offerings will help solve problems related to space junk and also provide infrastructural support to commercial space missions.
“Space situational awareness will be a critical component for the functioning of the Lower Earth Orbit economy. As the new space economy grows, Digantara’s offerings not only help deal with space debris but will be the infrastructural enabler on which commercial missions to space and space-based services will be built. Digantara’s young founders’ passion, capability and sincerity of purpose to explore, discover and contribute to the journey of space and solve its ambiguities is inspirational,” he said.