Indian-based private space technology startup company Pixxel said on 1 June 2023 that it has raised $36 million in a series B funding round that has been led by Google. This shows how in recent fund-raising times, there is an increasing demand for India’s space tech companies. Founded in February 2019, Pixxel has its headquarters in Bengaluru in Karnataka.
The funding round also witnessed interest from the company’s investors like Sparta, Athera, Lightspeed, Radical Ventures, Blume Ventures, and GrowX, among others. Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal are the co-founders of Pixxel.
Awais shared the good news and told a media portal how he thought that his company raised $36 million in the market was a positive sign. He also mentioned how not many companies in the space sector are being able to live up to the investors’ expectations and raise funds for further expansion at this point in time.
The fund-raising comes in the form of a 100% primary capital infusion, said Awais to the media. Also, it was noticed from the regulatory filings that Pixxel was in the industry for a $50 million round. Awais also shared how they had decided to keep the remaining amount as a buffer so that they can take as much as they get and raise the rest of the money later. The promising startup has several ideas to use the funds such as satellite development, infrastructure upgradation, and several launches being lined up in early 2024. In 2024, 6 “Firefly” satellites are being planned to launch and 18 others in 2025.
For the unversed, Pixxel has a plan to put a constellation of 30+ hyperspectral earth observation micro-satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit in the 2020s. The company also has ideas to invest the funds in team expansion so that they can work on several projects simultaneously. Presently, the company has 120 employees in Bengaluru and the US. Also, it has ideas to recruit 200 more employees by the end of 2023. Although the recruitment process will be conducted in Bengaluru, there are also opportunities open for the US and Europe for business development and associations.
Aurora is one of the company’s AI-powered analytics platforms that will be developed with the help of the funds to make hyperspectral imagery analysis available for public access. Getting space data insights using satellites and analytical tools is what the ambition of the company is. Pixxel’s total venture funding comes to $71 million as per its latest funding round. Last year, the company raised $25 million in a series A funding. It also received an extra $2 million to get the total series A funding to a total of $27 million. Accenture, which is an IT consulting firm is also one of the investors in the startup.
The company officials admitted how it was quite challenging and time-consuming for them to raise funds than the earlier funding rounds. This is because of the current market slowdown. However, the company’s latest contracts and built satellites gave them the added advantage to crack the deal.