Due to the near 100% success of India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission, India’s space programmes have been making a name for themselves globally, and big investors in the country are now shifting towards space-tech startups.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO of Paytm, India’s top digital payments firm, has invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based startup Kawa Space as part of its pre-Series A funding. Earlier, Bengaluru and Chennai-based SpecialE had invested an undisclosed funding in the startup.
This funding by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Kawa Space comes at a time when investors across India are starting to bet on space-tech startups.
Recently, a Rs. 10.3 crore investment was made by Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Cure Fit in Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace, a tech startup.
Spacetech startups have been gaining a lot of investor interest and are touted to help the country gain a fair share of the $350 billion global space market, where one can test and build the launch vehicle before the take-off in India, as it costs one-third of what it takes to do it in the US and other countries.
Kawa Space is amongst the few new Indian space tech startups that are pushing forward parallel to ISRO. Co-founded by Kris Nair and Bala Menon in 2018, the startup designs and operates most advanced earth observation satellite constellations for customers across sectors like financial services, government jobs, strategic risk management, and agriculture, among others.
Speaking about the firm’s operations, Kris said-
We are designing space systems in a way that solution can be deployed by the customers easily without worrying about a huge capital investment or lead time. We can deploy space-based solutions or space missions in seconds rather than years, through a simple API.”
In a single cluster or constellation, Kawa Space is looking to deploy 60 plus small satellites, starting December 2019, which have different sorts of applications, from imaging to telecommunications. Also the company is designing space systems in a way that solution can be deployed by the customers easily without worrying about a huge capital investment or lead time.
Kawa Space has the ability to deploy space-based solutions or space missions in seconds rather than years, through a simple API. Also, customers like in the agricultural sector can do their missions in seconds, rather than waiting for years to design, build, and launch their modules or satellites for the desired applications. It is more like “pay as you go model rather than millions of capital investment.”
The startup will be utilising the funding raised to expand its team in Bengaluru and San Francisco.