Bengaluru-based space technology startup Digantara has secured an impressive $10 million in a Series A1 funding round, led by Peak XV Partners (formerly known as Sequoia Capital India) and Kalaari Capital. Other notable participants in the funding include Global Brain, a venture capital firm based in Japan, Campus Fund, and the founders of IIFL Wealth. This substantial injection of capital will enable Digantara to advance its Space-Mission Assurance Platform (Space-MAP) in addressing the challenges posed by object tracking and space debris in Earth’s orbit.
The primary focus of Digantara’s Space-MAP program is to ensure the safety of space operations by overcoming the limitations in tracking space debris. Currently, a staggering 96% of the approximately one million objects in orbit remain unidentified, posing significant threats to satellites and human missions.
With the recent funding round, Digantara plans to launch the initial phase of its space-based surveillance satellite constellation. Additionally, the company aims to expedite the development of downstream space situational awareness (SSA) services, with a target deployment date set for the second quarter of 2024. Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder and CEO of Digantara, underscored the company’s dedication, stating, “We will make substantial investments in launching our space tech infrastructure to track previously unobservable objects and significantly increase data points. This will empower stakeholders with comprehensive insights for efficient decision-making in an increasingly complex space environment.”
Founded in 2020 by Anirudh Sharma, Rahul Rawat, and Tanveer Ahmed, Digantara boasts a team of 30 engineers specializing in astrodynamics, photonics, and space weather. The company’s headquarters are located in Bengaluru, with a presence in Singapore as well. In 2021, Digantara secured seed funding of $2.5 million from Kalaari Capital.
Shailesh Lakhani, Managing Director of Peak XV Partners, expressed confidence in Digantara’s endeavors, stating, “The team at Digantara is diligently working towards creating the most advanced SSA data collection infrastructure. We firmly believe that this will significantly enhance satellite management capabilities, which is a rapidly growing market.”
Apart from its funding achievements, Digantara is also developing India’s first commercial SSA optical observatory in Uttarakhand. This observatory will have the capability to track space debris as small as 10 cm in size orbiting the Earth. The startup has recently launched two missions as part of a space weather testbed.
The international space situational awareness (SSA) market is poised for substantial growth, with a projected incremental value of $642.98 million between 2022 and 2028. The increasing demand for satellite services, including communication, navigation, and Earth observation, has led to a surge in the number of deployed satellites. Consequently, there is a growing need for effective SSA systems to monitor and manage these satellites, ensuring their safe and efficient operations.
Digantara’s recent funding success represents a significant milestone in its mission to revolutionize space technology and tackle the challenges associated with space debris and situational awareness. The company’s innovative approach and cutting-edge solutions position it at the forefront of the evolving space industry.