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Nelco invests in router maker to improve Indian satcoms network

Piscis Networks founder and CEO Mandar Lokegaonkar with a batch of the startups SDWAN routers. Credit Piscis Networks
Piscis Networks founder and CEO Mandar Lokegaonkar with a batch of the startups SDWAN routers. Credit Piscis Networks

London, 9 June 2023.- Nelco, an Indian satellite communications provider, has invested around $122 million in Piscis Networks, a network equipment start-up based in Mumbai, to bolster its services amid a growing competitive threat from international players.

Nelco said in a stock exchange filing that it had bought an initial stake of just over 9% in Piscis Networks. Under the deal, Nelco can increase its stake to 30%. 

Piscis specialises in network management technology called software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) which Nelco believes will help improve the performance, security, and reliability of its communications services. Piscis, founded by technology entrepreneur Mandar Lokegaonkar in 2021, recorded sales of about 9.8 million rupees ($119 million) in its latest fiscal year. 

PJ Nath, Nelco CEO, said taking minority ownership of Piscis would enable the company to provide more integrated services in the country’s evolving satellite communications market.

“This investment is an important step for Nelco to expand its service portfolio and elevate its position as an integrated network solution provider. This also reinforces Nelco’s commitment to deliver comprehensive and innovative satellite communication solutions to its customers,” said Nelco in a statement. 

In April, India released a long-awaited policy establishing new guidelines and rules for its space ecosystem. The policy aims to give private companies more regulatory clarity for operation in the country, particularly for non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) operators. 

Foreign operators including SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, and SES have been awaiting the policy to help pave the way for their push into the country’s market. The Indian government is still debating foreign investment rules that were expected to be a part of its space policy.

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