Isar Aerospace closes world's largest space tech financing roundThis Space News was published on Tue, 28.03.2023 – 12:52 CEST, covering Isar Aerospace
German microlauncher manufacturer Isar Aerospace today announced the closing of its EUR 155 million (USD 165 million) Series C financing. This is the largest Space-Tech and one of the largest European DeepTech financing rounds to date in 2023, and strengthens Isar Aerospace's position as the EU's best capitalized independent NewSpace company.
The round is backed by 7-Industries Holding, Bayern Kapital via its Scale Up Fund Bavaria, Earlybird Venture Capital, HV Capital, Lakestar, Lombard Odier Investment Managers, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE), UVC Partners, and Vsquared Ventures. Investors Porsche SE and HV Capital will join Isar Aerospace’s Advisory Board together with 7-Industries Holding joining in an observer capacity. Part of the funds provided by the private investors is backed by the European Union and regional programs managed by the European Investment Fund, such as InvestEU and the German Future Fund.
Company valuation higher than for Series B in July 2021
Global demand for launch capacity for small and medium satellites is growing rapidly. This is reflected in the fact that Isar Aerospace's order book is already well filled. The financing is an important step towards the maiden flight of the Spectrum launch vehicle. On the other hand, it provides the basis for expanding the planned launch cadence. The capital will also be used to expand the company's manufacturing capabilities and to drive the development of new initiatives and products. In addition, Isar Aerospace will further increase the vertical integration of its value chain. In particular, it will expand its automated production capabilities, which will significantly reduce the cost of building launch vehicles.
The strong interest and commitment from our international investors signals their confidence in our vision and technological capabilities. Today, and even more so tomorrow, space technologies are key to enabling innovation, technology and security. Isar Aerospace offers the access to space that is urgently needed for commercial, institutional and government customers. This financing round marks another important step on our journey to orbit.Daniel Metzler, Co-Founder & CEO Isar Aerospace
David Kownator, Chief Financial Officer of Isar Aerospace, adds: "We are thrilled to have concluded this round of financing in a difficult global market environment, building on strong investor demand and the company’s steady progress, at an increased valuation compared to our Series B in July 2021.“
Bülent Altan: "Isar Aerospace is a market leader in the space industry".
The record round underlines Isar Aerospace's pioneering role in the commercial space industry. In this industry, there is a growing demand for a European offering for reliable, flexible and cost-effective access to space for commercial and institutional customers. With a total financing volume of more than EUR 310 million (USD 330 million), Isar Aerospace is the best capitalized independent new space company in the European Union.
Bulent Altan, Chairman of the Advisory Board and seed investor in Isar Aerospace, says: "The undeniably most common building block of any space application is reliable and affordable access to orbit. Isar Aerospace is a catalyst for the tremendous growth of the sector. With a crisp and fast execution, focus on quality, and establishing capabilities for future volume production, Isar Aerospace is emerging as a strong leader in the space economy. I am extremely pleased to have been a part of the journey from day one and look forward to the upcoming first launches.“
Full vertical integration, solid customer pipeline
Since its founding in 2018, Isar Aerospace has established itself as a technology leader in the industry. Through full vertical integration, the company has built up expertise and relies on its own development, production and testing processes. The production site in Munich offers maximum reliability, cost efficiency and flexibility. A high level of automation will allow the company to scale its production capacity in the future to meet growing market demand. Isar Aerospace already has a solid customer base and contracts with customers worldwide. These include major commercial players, new space companies and government agencies. The launch manifest is already fully booked for the first few years after launch. This demonstrates the importance of being positioned as a provider of cost-effective access to selected orbits for the realization of constellations and targeted use cases.
Targeting the inaugural flight in the second half of 2023
Isar Aerospace has already started production of the launch vehicle for the first flight. At the same time, the qualification phase for the systems has started. The 'Aquila' engine, developed and manufactured in-house, is currently undergoing testing and qualification. At the same time, the company is completing the construction of the launch infrastructure at the Andøya launch site in Norway. The first flight of the Spectrum launcher is scheduled for the second half of 2023.
Strengthening Europe’s capabilities to access orbit
Access to space is key to unlocking the innovation potential of technology. Whether it is to combat climate change, ensure secure and efficient connectivity, or improve critical infrastructure around the world. Last but not least, the geopolitical events of 2022 were a wake-up call for decision-makers in Europe. They have prioritized the need for sovereign European access to space to ensure global competitiveness. Isar Aerospace will make a significant contribution to expanding the offer for independent and flexible access to space.
After all, launch vehicles are designed to put small and medium-sized satellites and constellations into orbit. Companies, institutions and governments around the world rely on them. Especially when they want or need to expand their capabilities in Earth observation, telecommunications, agriculture, disaster management, transportation, environmental monitoring and protection, scientific research or even defense.