Space tech startup Digantara raises $10M led by Peak XV, Kalaari Capital

Digantara is working on space situational awareness to address the limitations in tracking objects and space debris in Earth's orbit.

Space tech startup Digantara raises $10M led by Peak XV, Kalaari Capital

Tuesday June 20, 2023,

3 min Read

Digantara, a Bengaluru-based startup working on space situational awareness (SSA), has raised $10 million in a Series A1 funding round led by Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India) and Kalaari Capital.

Japan-based VC firm Global Brain, Campus Fund, and the founders of IIFL Wealth also participated in the round.

The space tech startup aims to advance its Space-Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP). The primary objective of Digantara's Space-MAP programme is to ensure the safety of space operations by addressing the current limitations in tracking space debris in Earth's orbit. Currently, 96% of the approximately one million objects in orbit remain unidentified, posing a potential threat to satellites and human missions.

With the fresh capital infusion, Digantara plans to deploy the first phase of its space-based surveillance satellite constellation. Additionally, the company will accelerate the development of its downstream SSA services, aiming to deploy by the second quarter of 2024.

"We will invest heavily in launching our space tech infrastructure to track previously unobservable objects and significantly increase data points," said Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder and CEO of Digantara. "This will empower stakeholders with comprehensive insights for efficient decision-making in an increasingly complex space environment."

Digantara founders

Founders of Digantara: Rahul Rawat, Tanveer Ahmed and Anirudh Sharma.

Digantara had earlier secured seed funding of $2.5 million from Kalaari Capital in 2021.

“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,” Shailesh Lakhani, MD, Peak XV Partners said in a statement.

Headquartered in Bengaluru and with a presence in Singapore, Digantara was founded in 2020 by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed who lead a team of 30 engineers. Their expertise spans the fields of astrodynamics, photonics, and space weather. The startup is developing an end-to-end solution to address the challenges of space operations and situational awareness.

The company has also commenced the development of India's first commercial SSA optical observatory in Uttarakhand to track space debris as small as 10 cm in size orbiting Earth. The firm also recently launched two missions that served as the space weather testbed.

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The international space situational awareness (SSA) market is expected to register an incremental growth value of $642.98 million between 2022 and 2028, according to research by New York-based private equity firm, Insight Partners.

The rising global demand for satellite services, including communication, navigation, and Earth observation, has resulted in a substantial growth in the number of satellites deployed in Earth's orbit. As a consequence, there is an increasing requirement for space situational awareness (SSA) systems that can effectively monitor and manage these satellites, ensuring their operations remain safe and efficient.

Edited by Kanishk Singh