In-space propulsion startup Bellatrix seals $8 million funding round

Chennai: Bengaluru-based in-space propulsion startup Bellatrix Aerospace has concluded a $8 million funding round led by Venture Capital GmbH, the corporate venture company of BASF SE, and early-stage VC Inflexor Ventures.

The funding round saw the participation of StartupXseed, Pavestone Capital, Survam Partners, Karsemven Fund, the Mankind Pharma family office, and other prominent family offices and angel investors, said a statement.

Bellatrix, founded in 2015 by co-founders Rohan Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam, offers chemical and electric propulsion technologies. It runs a large research facility at SID-IISc for satellite propulsion. It also boasts of a strong IP portfolio in these technologies.

ET had reported that Bellatrix had tested an eco-friendly propulsion system for satellites that cuts a new path from the hydrazine-dependent fuel systems and delivers fuel efficiency potential up to 20% for space satellites.

Bellatrix’s CEO and CTO Ganapathy said the investment would aid in expanding product portfolio, and hire more people to broaden expertise, besides “augmenting our state-of-the-art infrastructure and focus on validation of our products in space.” For the lead investor, the Bellatrix investment signifies an entry at the right time: “In India in particular, this industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented upturn,” Markus Solibieda, MD at BASF Venture Capital GmbH, said.

Bellatrix operates in high-growth markets of in-space propulsion and orbital transfer vehicles, areas where a higher number of satellite launches has given rise to demand for green technologies and cost-effective satellite placement.

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“Orbital Transfer Vehicles have become the new means of reaching on rideshare missions for micro and small satellites,” the statement said.

The company said the funds would be used for its 4-thruster modules slated to hit the market by year-end. Bellatrix also said it has bagged some contracts with ISRO and other customers. “The funds are also used towards the company’s evolution into a full-fledged space transportation technology company with its unique Orbital Transfer Vehicle with capabilities to deploy customer satellites to their orbits quickly as well as perform missions to the geostationary orbit (GEO) and beyond,” said the statement.

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