[Funding alert] Spacetech startup Astrogate Labs raises funding led by Speciale Invest, eyes $60M+ revenue in 5 years
Spacetech startup Astrogate Labs on Tuesday said it had raised funding from Speciale Invest and others, and the proceeds would enable the Bengaluru-based company to launch flight terminals into space next year.
The company, which has raised $750,000 (about Rs 5.5 crore) in funding so far, is aiming to get $60-70 million in revenue over the next five years.
Astrogate Labs aims to solve the challenges of radio-based communication systems that provide low data-rates, bear high spectrum licensing costs, and are currently strained under the small-satellite downlink demand with highly secure optical communication systems.
Using the company's optical communication solutions, satellite operators can get more data from space to Earth faster.
The company has partnered with space transportation and space logistics company Momentus to demonstrate space-to-ground laser communications from its smallsat optical downlink terminal.
Astrogate Labs Co-founder and CEO Nitish Singh said the round was led by Speciale Invest, with participation from Anicut Angel Fund, SuprValue.vc, and existing investor FirstCheque.Vc.
"The funds will enable us to launch flight terminals into space and build space heritage in 2021. We plan to support the growing satellite downlink needs with a network of optical ground stations and in-space relays using technologies developed in-house amongst other ambitious projects," he added.
A chain of optical communication systems
The company aims to demonstrate space-to-ground laser communications link from its smallsat optical downlink terminal onboard a 3U nanosatellite, and also plans to establish itself in space-to-space laser links with a subsequent mission.
Nitish explained that the company was looking forward to having six to eight ground stations in the next five years.
"The first one to support our mission and demonstrate space-to-ground laser link will come up in Q4 2020 in Australia," he added.
In satellite communication terminology, ground station refers to antennas put up on the ground to communicate with the satellite. They typically resemble parabolic dishes deployed at remote sites.
Founded in 2017 by Nitish Singh and Aditya Kedlaya, Astrogate intends to build an entire chain of optical communication systems to tackle the problem of high-speed communication in space.
The company is developing smallsat optical terminals and a network of small-aperture optical ground terminals. Smallsat operators can integrate Astrogate's optical terminal and subscribe to a ground communication plan for a full turn-key solution.
"Currently, space systems largely rely on RF protocols for interplanetary, inter-satellite, and space-to-ground communication. RF works, but is both limiting on bandwidth and is expensive...We are looking at $60-70 million in revenue in the next five years (March 2026)," Nitish said.