Isar Aerospace raises Series-B to US$165+ millionThis Space News was published on Wed, 28.07.2021 – 10:14 CEST, covering Isar Aerospace
PRESS RELEASE - Isar Aerospace strengthens its position as Europe's leading and best-funded private launch service provider focused on small and medium satellites by increasing its Series-B to more than $165 million. Leading the $75 million (€64 million) Series-B expansion are HV Capital, holding company Porsche Automobil Holding SE, and banking group Lombard Odier.
Existing investors Earlybird Venture Capital, Lakestar, Vsquared Ventures, Apeiron Investment Group and UVC Partners are also participating in the financing round, with Earlybird Venture Capital underwriting the largest share. The new round brings Isar Aerospace's total financing volume to over 180 million US dollars. This makes Isar Aerospace the best-funded and fastest-growing space start-up in the European Union, offering global customers flexible access to space to meet increased global demand. Isar Aerospace will use the additional funding to invest in its launch, test and manufacturing infrastructure for the largely automated production of launch vehicles and their commercial deployment. The company is targeting the first test flight of the "Spectrum" rocket in 2022.
"The support from new and existing investors is a strong signal of the momentum in commercial spaceflight. It shows that a whole range of investors have understood the importance of space technology as an enabler for many business models and breakthrough innovations. As the best-funded space start-up in the European Union, we can provide flexible and cost-effective access to this platform. For the team at Isar Aerospace, the new round means that we can further expand our leading position and invest in our infrastructure with even greater clout."Daniel Metzler, CEO Isar Aerospace
The investment of Porsche SE, the majority shareholder of Volkswagen AG, in Isar Aerospace highlights the essential role of the space industry as a platform for the development of future technologies and as a central pillar for the future competitiveness of key industries. Satellite-based technologies around connectivity and data processing have the potential to become the backbone for traditional and emerging industries alike. The availability of launch capacity is fundamental to this trend.
"As an investor focused on mobility and industrial technologies, we are convinced that cost-efficient and flexible access to space will be an essential key to innovation in traditional industries as well as for new disruptive technologies and business models. We are pleased to accompany Isar Aerospace on its journey to become the leading European launch service provider focusing on small and medium satellites, serving the increasing demand for launch capabilities. We have been very impressed by the technological progress and development speed of the entire organization and look forward to supporting Isar Aerospace in its ambitious growth plans."Lutz Meschke, member of the executive board of Porsche SE, responsible for investment management
Isar Aerospace best positioned to meet rising demand for take-off capacity
The global market for space launch services is expected to grow to more than €30 billion by 2027 - of which nearly €10 billion is for launch services for small and medium-sized satellites. For many industries worldwide, from automotive to telecommunications, space is becoming an important technological platform, opening up new opportunities in IoT, data encryption and storage, for smart farming applications, or in observation to more effectively combat climate change. Consequently, the need among companies, research institutes as well as government organizations for flexible and cost-efficient access to space will also increase significantly.
However, launch capacities are still inflexible, expensive and scarce - especially in Europe. Isar Aerospace offers the first purely privately financed European launch vehicle for small to medium payloads to meet the growing global demand. The founder-managed company relies on highly automated manufacturing to enable a higher launch frequency and drastically reduce the cost per launch while maintaining high mission flexibility.
First customers announced, "Spectrum" launch vehicle in production
Isar Aerospace is preparing its first test flight for 2022. This year, the company has started production of its first launch vehicle and is about to start engine testing in Kiruna, Sweden, and commissioning of the launch site in Andøya, Norway. The company had signed a contract with Andøya Space earlier this year, securing exclusive access to a launch site for the period of up to 20 years. The first "Spectrum" launch vehicle will thus be launched from Norway. In the spring of this year, Isar Aerospace announced that it had received its first major launch order from an established space company in the form of Airbus Defence and Space, with further customer orders to be announced shortly. In addition, the space start-up was also able to win the German federal government as an anchor customer as part of the Commercial Space Transportation Services program of the European Space Agency (ESA).
"We are very proud of Isar Aerospace's successes and have great confidence in the founders and their great team. Especially in the last six months, Isar Aerospace has set a decisive course for its future development, e.g. they have won the C-STS program of ESA and were able to secure their first paying customers with Airbus Defence and Space - that is impressive! HV Capital has therefore decided to significantly expand its investment in Isar Aerospace."Fabian Gruner, Principal at HV Capital
Competitive and broad-based space ecosystem as a prerequisite for European sovereignty
With its technologically advanced and purely European approach, Isar Aerospace intends to contribute to securing Europe's technological and political sovereignty in close cooperation with established and state-owned space companies. The "Spectrum" launch vehicle will be developed, built, financed and launched entirely in Europe.
"A competitive and broad-based space ecosystem will be crucial for humanity in the coming decades. We are convinced that only European cooperation, a level playing field for all players and a demand-driven approach will create autonomous access to space. This is the only way to provide customers with diverse and internationally competitive launch capabilities for a wide range of payloads. The U.S. has shown that framework agreements based on demand and not on political parameters prepare the ground for innovation and growth in the space sector," adds Daniel Metzler.
via Isar Aerospace