Spacetech startup Agnikul is in talks to raise up to $12 million in its Series A round from venture capital firm Mayfield, said three people aware of the details of the transaction. This would be the first institutional round for the Chennai-based firm.
“Agnikul has been in talks with Mayfield for over two months to raise $10-12 million,” said one of the persons requesting anonymity. “The company will be valued $35 million (post-money) in its Series A round.
The four-year-old firm was valued at a little over $6 million in its previous round, as per people cited above, and this would be almost a 4X rise in its valuation.
Entrackr’s queries sent to Agnikul’s co-founder and COO Moin SPM and Mayfield didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the story in case they do.
Agnikul is building a small rocket, Agnibaan, which is capable of taking up to 100 kg of payload to orbit around 700 km high. The firm had recently test-fired a fully 3D printed semi cryo rocket ‘Agnilet’. According to the company, this would make the engine lighter and have scope for little errors.
Agnikul is targeting its first launch by the end of 2022.
Over the past year, spacetech has been able to garner investors’ attention and the positive sentiment around the ecosystem could be noticed from three deals in 2020.
Another spacetech startup Pixxel had raised $5 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and growX in August 2020 whereas Pune-based Vesta Space Technology had raised $10 million from Next Capital in May.
IISc-incubated Bellatrix Aerospace had raised $3 million from IDFC-Parampara, StartupXseed, Karsemven Fund, and Survam Partners in 2019.
Agnikul, too, had raised funds in 2020. According to regulatory filings, the IIT Chennai-incubated startup had raised Rs 23.4 crore in its seed round led by Pi Ventures at a valuation of Rs 70 crore or $9.5 million in February last year. The startup was recently backed by Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, who had invested in his personal capacity.
Agnikul also turned out to be the first spacetech startup to sign an agreement with the newly established Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) entity under the Department of Space. Akin to most of the spacetech startups in India, Agnikul is also in pre-revenue stage, incurring a loss of Rs 2.54 crore during FY20.