NewSpace Research and Technologies, a Bangalore-based Defence startup raised USD 21 million in funding on February 22, 2022. The amount comes from Pavestone Technology Fund. NewSpace specialises in drone technology. It is possibly the largest venture capital funding witnessed in the defence sector.
The purpose of funding-
The funds will be utilised in the next 18 months. The company will deliver its products to the armed forces. Additional future rounds are planned as well.
Besides the Government project, the company wants to enter the civil logistics market. The market has just opened up, therefore, products are being delivered.
In September last year, the Army ordered a swarm drone system worth USD 26464260 (INR 200 crore). The drones are to be capable of surveillance and attack missions. Since the order is placed via an emergency purchase route, NewSpace has to deliver the merchandise within a year.
What the founder of Pavestone Technology Fund has to say-
Sridhar Rampalli, the Managing Partner of Pavestone Technology Fund, said, “Our belief is that the opportunity is large and the company is working on two, three products for the future. If done well, it could quickly be a unicorn in the next five or six years.”
With big industry houses diversifying in the defence sector, several startups have also entered the space. However, the large gestation period cautions the venture capitalist firms. Hence, the defence sector has not seen investments by VC firms in large numbers.
NewSpace and its contracts
They have completed over 10 NextGen projects till now. It has also won two contracts from the Government defence project last year.
In collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), they are developing a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) for surveillance and communications. HAL is the lead prototype partner in the project. The satellite can stay airborne for months at a stretch. Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) will mentor the program.
About the company-
NewSpace Research and Technologies work explicitly on Swarm Drones. Based in Bangalore, they design and develop drone technology for earth observation and communication. Their focus is to develop next-gen Aerospace solutions. The firm uses virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and collective robots to execute its operations. The company has only a handful of firms as global competitors that work well in its favour. It’s 46 team members are building Smart Technology for Tomorrow.
The startup aims to become a unicorn within the next 5 years.
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