For Team Indus, commercialising space tech is the way forward

While the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition will end without a winner, it is not the end of the road for Axiom Research Labs, the parent company of TeamIndus. CEO Rahul Narayan is still trying to push through with the dream of landing on the moon.
But more importantly, the company is working on a few projects such as satellite bus and solar-powered drone and is looking to commercialise these by the end of the year. The Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) was called off following a consultation with the five finalists.
Bengaluru-based TeamIndus and four other teams from around the world had qualified for the final leg of the competition. The idea now is to look at commercialising a few sub-projects.
"From an investment standpoint, this will be a three-five years journey till we can stabilise as a standalone company. We are looking at equity investors to come in and take the risk of helping us build the product. By year end, we can start to generate revenues from what we do," said Narayan.
TeamIndus has also officially terminated its launch contract with Antrix Corp, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). "Antrix and TeamIndus are mutually terminating the launch services agreement signed in 2016...TeamIndus also thanks Antrix for its assistance and looks forward to collaborating with Antrix in the future," said a statement from the company.
Meanwhile, XPRIZE is exploring other avenues to keep the competition alive. One of the ways might be finding a new title sponsor or even continuing the quest to reach moon as a non-cash competition.
TeamIndus had reportedly raised more than half of the approximately ₹450-crore funding required for the mission and was working on crowdfunding and raising more money from sponsors.
"Finances are a constraint for everybody. I would not use it as an excuse. We knew it was a challenge. Primarily it was time, we had all the things on the table, maybe we could have accelerated a few things, parallelised a few things early on," said Narayan.