Spacetech startup Agnikul inks deal with Dept. of Space for access to ISRO facilities

The memorandum of understanding will allow Chennai-based Agnikul to take advantage of ISRO's facilities and expertise, and undertake tests for its payload systems.
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Chennai-based spacetech startup Agnikul Cosmos said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Space to access ISRO's facilities and expertise, and undertake tests for its single-piece 3D-printed semi cryo engine and other systems.

The deal will also allow Agnikul to avail ISRO's technical expertise for testing and qualifying the startup's space launch vehicle systems and subsystems, it said.

Based in National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai, the startup met Department of Space secretary and ISRO Chainman, Dr K Sivan, who "assured all support from DOS for qualifying Agnikul launch vehicle systems."

The DoS, earlier this week, inked a similar deal with Skyroot Aerospace, based out of Hyderabad, to give it access to ISRO's facilities and expertise.

"With this level of government support, low-Earth orbit does look close," Agnikul tweeted from its Twitter handle.

Launched in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and Professor SR Chakravarthy, Agnikul Cosmos is involved in building a private small satellite launch vehicle. Its core product, Agnibaan, is a smallsat launch vehicle capable of carrying up to 100 kg of payload to Low Earth orbits.

Earlier this year, the startup test-fired the world’s first 3D printed rocket engine Agnilet, and has said it will undertake more such tests in the remainder of the year.

In May, it raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Mayfield India. Existing investors including pi Ventures, Speciale Invest and Artha Venture Fund also participated in the round.

BEENEXT, Globevestor, LionRock Capital, and a clutch of angel investors including Anand Mahindra, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Nithin Kamath, Abhishek Singhania, Aarthi Ramamurthy, and Sriram Krishnan, Anicut Angel Fund, and LetsVenture, among others, participated in the round.

The startup had raised $3.1 million in its pre-series A funding in March last year, and a seed round from Speciale Invest in 2019.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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