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SpaceX’s German rival Isar Aerospace secures €65M from Nato Innovation Fund

Isar Aerospace
Picture credits: Isar Aerospace

Germany’s satellite launch service startup Isar Aerospace has announced an extension of its Series C round by over €65 million. Last year, the company raised $165 million in the first close of this round. With this, the total funding in the Series C round accounts for €220 million and the overall investment in Isar Aerospace is now €400 million. 

Who invested in Isar Aerospace?

The extension received a strong commitment from NATO Innovation Fund (NIF), a standalone venture capital fund backed by 24 NATO Allies which deploys over €1 billion to empower deep tech companies addressing challenges in defence, security, and resilience. This marks the first-ever direct investment in a satellite service launch provider from the NATO Innovation Fund. 

Other new investors in the extension round included the European family office G3T, 10x Group, Besant Capital, Finadvice Med HOLDINGS, and LP&E. Existing investors Lakestar, Earlybird, Airbus Ventures, Bayern Kapital, and UVC Partners also participated in the extension round.

How will it use the investment?

This latest funding will enable Isar Aerospace to continue investing in the build-up and equipment for its series production. The company’s high degree of automation and scalability positions the company to serve the increasing private and public sector demand for transporting small and medium-sized satellites and satellite constellations into space.

Andrea Traversone, Managing Partner of the NATO Innovation Fund, said: “Access to space is critical to the technological sovereignty of Europe and the UK. Space technologies like Isar’s hold immense promise and will enable us to build a secure and prosperous future for generations to come. We will support Isar with adoption pathways across government and commercial opportunities.”

Builds launch vehicles for satellites 

Founded in 2018 by Daniel Metzler, Josef Fleischmann, and Markus Brandl, Isar Aerospace, a spinout of Technical University Munich, 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 its debut, the company has grown to over 400 employees from more than 50 nations with decades of hands-on rocket know-how and experience within other high-tech industries.

The 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. 

Daniel Metzler, Co-Founder and CEO of Isar Aerospace said: “The investment by the NATO Innovation Fund in Isar Aerospace is a strong sign of confidence in our approach and underlines the fundamental role of space technologies for our economies and societies. Even more, it shows that European governments need to promote and leverage private innovation and products to keep up globally.”

What do we think about Isar Aerospace?

With significant funding, including from the NATO Innovation Fund, the company is well-positioned to meet increasing global demand and enhance Europe’s technological sovereignty in space. Isar aims to compete with major players like SpaceX and Blue Origin, leveraging strong private and public sector support.

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