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German rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Isar Aerospace lands $165M to democratise access to space

Isar Aerospace
Picture credits: Isar Aerospace

Isar Aerospace, a Munich-based satellite launch service company, has secured $165 million in a Series C funding round, marking the largest SpaceTech financing round globally and one of the largest European DeepTech fundraises. 

Who backed?

The round is backed by 7-Industries Holding, Bayern Kapital via its Scale Up Fund Bavaria, Earlybird Venture Capital, HV Capital (also backed Dance), Lakestar, Lombard Odier Investment Managers, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE), UVC Partners, and Vsquared Ventures. 

As a part of the funding round, 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.

How will the funding be used?

The funds will enable Isar Aerospace to advance its inaugural flight while simultaneously accelerating the cadence of its Spectrum launch vehicle. 

Moreover, the fund will facilitate the expansion of the company’s established production capabilities to cater to the burgeoning global demand for launches of small and medium-sized satellites, given the firm’s robust order book. 

At the same time, Series C will allow the company to keep investing in developments for new initiatives and products, and to continue building on its vertical integration, especially it’s automated production capabilities that significantly lower the cost of building rockets.

Daniel Metzler, Co-Founder and CEO of Isar Aerospace explains: “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 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.”

Transporting satellites into orbit

Founded in 2018 as a spinout of Technical University Munich, Isar Aerospace develops and builds launch vehicles for transporting small and medium-sized satellites as well as satellite constellations into Earth’s orbit. The space tech aims to compete with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Since then, it has grown to more than 300 employees from more than 40 nations.

The German company has signed contracts with customers globally, including major commercial players, New Space companies, and government institutions. 

Isar Aerospace started the production of the maiden flight vehicle while entering the qualification stages for its vehicle systems. 

The entirely in-house developed and manufactured Aquila engine is undergoing engine testing and qualification. At the same time, the company is finalising the build-up of its launch infrastructure at the launch site in Andøya, Norway, from where the inaugural flight of its launch vehicle Spectrum, which is planned for the second half of 2023, will take place.

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.”

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