India’s space industry got an energizing shock from its lunar landing two weeks ago, and so far, the flurry of investment activity isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Manastu Space, an Indian collision avoidance and green propulsion startup, announced Tuesday that it closed a $3M pre-Series A led by Capital 2B, BIG Capital, and E2MC with participation from several other investors.
Manastu 101: The Mumbai-based company was founded in 2017 by a student team from Student Satellite Lab at IIT Bombay to develop a greener propulsion system for satellites.
- It’s working on developing and testing its thruster, which runs on a fuel called MS-289, which is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and a blend of additives that it says will burn more cleanly than commonly used fuels.
- It’s also designing a collision avoidance system, which includes a thruster that can be incorporated into a satellite to provide maneuverability and deorbiting capabilities.
The company says it is using its pre-Series A funding to continue testing its propulsion system, including the first on-orbit tests and demonstrations. Looking ahead, the company has secured contracts with the Indian defense agency, French launch startup Latitude, and defense innovation group iDEX.
India’s space boom: India’s domestic space industry has been growing steadily for years, but there’s been a notable uptick in investment activity recently. India’s space stocks surged after the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the lunar surface last month, and EO intelligence startup SatSure announced a $15M Series A last week in the wake of that landing.
There are 150+ space startups in the Indian market right now that have collectively raised upwards of $218M since 2014. The market is currently valued at ~$8B—roughly the same as the Japanese space industry—according to a report from consultancy Arthur D. Little that projects it will grow to $40B by 2040.