Microsoft plans to work with India’s space agency to give Indian space technology startups free access to cloud tools, the two said Thursday, the latest in the US tech giant’s efforts to strengthen ties with young companies in the South Asian market. deepen.
As part of a memorandum of understanding that Microsoft has signed with the Indian Space Research Organization, the company will also provide go-to-market support to aerospace technology start-ups and help them become business-ready, it said.
Startups handpicked by ISRO are placed on board the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub platform, where they receive free access to various tools and resources. These tools include help building and scaling on Azure, as well as GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise, Microsoft 365 and Power BI, and Dynamics 365.
“ISRO’s partnership with Microsoft will greatly benefit aerospace tech startups in their analysis and processing of massive amounts of satellite data for various applications, using advanced methods such as AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning,” said S Somanath, President of ISRO, in a statement.
“The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a convenient platform for bringing together startups and technology solution providers to support the national space technology ecosystem. We are excited to work together to help and support entrepreneurs, in turn benefiting the Indian economy as a whole.”
Indian space technology startups are having a moment.
In June 2020, the Indian government passed the space sector reforms and established the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) to enable private companies to use ISRO’s infrastructure. The government has also established NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) as the commercial arm of the space agency to work closely with private companies and startups.
In November last year, ISRO successfully launched the Vikram-S after a long wait for a private sector boost. Developed by four-year-old startup Skyroot Aerospace, the Vikram-S is a single-stage, spin-stabilized solid-propellant rocket with a mass of about 550 kilograms. It carries three shipments from customers, including one from a customer outside India.
The South Asian nation has registered 111 space startups on the In-SPACe platform, according to an official response shared in December in the country’s upper house of parliament.
While startups like GIC-backed Skyroot Aerospace and Rocketship.vc-invested Agnikul are busy developing launch vehicles, Blume Ventures and Lightspeed Partners-backed Pixxel and ANIC-ARISE and Kalaari Capital-invested Digantara are building satellites.
Indian space startups raised more than $245.35 million, with $108.52 million in 2022 alone, according to data shared by the Indian Space Association (ISpA) with australiabusinessblog.com.
Microsoft has made numerous announcements in India this week as CEO Satya Nadella visits the South Asian market. The company said earlier this week that HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have signed up to use Azure and other Microsoft cloud services.