Indian Startup Ecosystem is a diversified ecosystem. But there are only a few startups in this diversified ecosystem that belong to the space tech industry.
Today’s startup story is about an Indian space tech startup that sets small satellites into space.
Startup Story: Agnikul Cosmos | Bringing Space Within Everyone’s Reach
Agnikul (Agnikul Cosmos Pvt Ltd) is an Indian Space Tech startup, incubated by IIT-Madras. The startup manufactures, designs, tests and launches orbital-class rockets for micro and nanosatellites.
Explaining what Agnikul does, Founder Srinath Ravichandran says,
“We started Agnikul with the dream of bringing space within everyone’s reach. We are doing this by building nimble, reliable and modular rockets that can put small satellites in space, on-demand.”
Agnikul Founders and Funding
Till now, Agnikul has received a total funding of ₹264M.
How Agnikul was founded?
Srinath, being a space enthusiast, and after watching the success of ISRO on the world level, thought of doing something related to space.
“I am a space enthusiast myself and after witnessing the success of ISRO across the globe, I decided to do something related to space in India,” said Srinath in an old interview.
Driven with an aim to make space available within everyone’s reach. Srinath started working on his company, which he later named Agnikul Cosmos.
To achieve his goal, Srinath required the right team. So, in 2015, he started visiting universities across India to partner with people in the space field.
And, on a visit to IIT Madras in 2017, Srinath met Prof Satyanath Chakravarthy, a propulsion expert and the Head of the NCCRD (National Centre for Combustion Research and Development).
Professor Satyanath helped Srinath and his team to do research and development regarding their launch vehicles and its propulsion system at NCCRD.
Around this time, he met Moin SPM. And in 2017 they registered the company, which later got incubated at IIT Madras.
How Is Agnikul Different From Other Space Tech Startups?
Agnikul is working to demystify rocket science and to bring space within everyone’s reach.
What makes them different is that the startup vouches to put micro and nanosatellites (under 500 kg) into low-Earth orbit in just two weeks.
Also, the majority of the parts of the rocket, built by the company, are 3D printed. The use of 3D printing allows them to minimise the manufacturing cost, that too without affecting the quality of the design.
Talking about Rocket Science, Srinath Ravichandran said,
“You respect it, but you don’t worship it. Rocket science is hard, but it is still achievable by people. For instance, the average age of people who built the vehicle for the Apollo Mission in 1969 was 26, and this is what we tell our team regularly, that nothing is impossible.”
Present Situation And Future Plans Of Agnikul
Agnikul Cosmos is developing a satellite launch vehicle (SLV) for a payload capacity of up to 100 kg.
And in their last funding round, this Indian space tech startup said that they will use the funds for ground testing, fabrication and to expand its team.
As per Agnikul Cosmos, if all goes right, by 2021 they will become the first startup in India to launch a vehicle in space.