Isar Aerospace raises over €75m in Europe’s largest SpaceTech funding round
- The €75m Series B is the biggest ever round in the European SpaceTech sector, securing the first launch of a German launch vehicle
- The funding round is composed of leading European Investors, led by Lakestar, with a substantial participation from existing investors UVC Partners, Earlybird, and Vsquared Ventures
- First European space company able to transport satellite constellations into the Earth’s orbit on internationally competitive terms
- Customer inquiries already amount to more than half a billion USD
Munich, 9 December 2020. Isar Aerospace takes a major hurdle to provide the technical infrastructure to explore the potential of space for humanity: the company raises €75m from existing and new investors, securing the largest Series B funding round in the European SpaceTech sector. The round is led by leading European venture capital firm Lakestar, joined by the substantial participation of early backers UVC Partners, Earlybird and Vsquared Ventures. New investors HV Capital, as well as Ann-Kristin and Paul Achleitner, are also joining the round while increasing the total financing volume to more than USD 100m.
“We are very happy about the great interest and trust our new and existing investors are placing in us. Now we are completely financed until the maiden flight of our launch vehicle and can fully concentrate on the final development steps and upcoming tests. In other words, there’s nothing standing in the way of the first successful launch of a German launch vehicle into Earth’s orbit“, says Daniel Metzler, CEO of Isar Aerospace.
“All over the world, satellite manufacturers, telecommunications companies, car manufacturers or even governmental organizations and research institutes need access to space. The bottleneck is launch capacity, which is often still too expensive and inflexible. We will offer a solution to this problem as we provide a direct connection where customers can book their satellite tickets at any time with maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency.“
The European answer to space
Isar Aerospace is the only privately-financed European space company that has developed its launch vehicles with a payload of over 1,000 kilograms including their propulsion systems in-house from scratch. The founders use a pragmatic engineering approach, a highly automated manufacturing and a simple design, to reduce the cost of each rocket launch drastically. Moreover, the founders place high importance on the fact that the entire value creation is carried out within the European Union. The funding, amounting to more than USD 100m stems almost exclusively from European investors.
With Isar Aerospace, Europe now has the necessary powers, resources, and technological advantage to be competitive and pioneering in space technology. It enables European space tech to actively enforce its own values and legal concepts against others operating in this field.
“We are the first European company that is able to transport satellite constellations into Earth’s orbit on internationally competitive conditions. Using various launchpads around the globe, we will also be able to reach different Earth’s orbits. This sparks interest from numerous non-European customers as well“, says Josef Fleischmann, COO of Isar Aerospace.
First prototype already in production
Isar Aerospace is on track to meet its timetable for the development of its launch vehicle. After two years of research and development, 2020 was particularly decisive for the company: The start-up began the production of its first prototype, grew to over 120 employees from across 30 nations and signed an agreement with the French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales) to prepare the launch of its orbital launch vehicles from the CSG (Centre Spatial Guyanais) in French Guiana. Now, the financing is secured until the launch of the first rocket. In 2021, internal production and testing capacities will be increased. To this end, Isar Aerospace will expand its team at its Munich space tech hub and Swedish sites in Kiruna.
Technological leadership will be determined in space
Large-scale missions to the moon and Mars are only one part of the space sector, which will grow to a volume of one trillion US dollars by 2040. The space launch services market is particularly important for technological progress worldwide and digital sovereignty in Europe and it is expected to grow to over 30 billion euros by 2027. Global market leadership positions for high-speed internet, autonomous driving, industrial connectivity, data encryption and storage, or smart farming will be determined in space. The necessary parameters for the fight against global climate change, forest fires or natural disasters are already largely provided by satellites today.
About Isar Aerospace
Isar Aerospace, based in Ottobrunn/Munich, develops and builds launch vehicles for transporting small and medium-sized satellites as well as satellite constellations into Earth’s orbit. The company was founded in 2018 by Daniel Metzler, Josef Fleischmann and Markus Brandl. Since then, it has grown to more than 120 employees from around 30 nations with many years of hands-on rocket knowhow as well as experience at Intel, Apple, Panasonic, Airbus and SpaceX. The company is privately financed by Ann-Kristin and Paul Achleitner, Airbus Ventures, Andreas Kupke, Apeiron, Bulent Altan, Earlybird Venture Capital, HV Capital, Lakestar, UVC Partners, Vito Ventures and Vsquared Ventures.
About UVC Partners
Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (UVC Partners) is a Munich- and Berlin-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology-based startups in the areas of enterprise software, industrial technologies, and mobility. The fund typically invests between € 0.5 – 4m initially and up to € 15m in total per company.
Portfolio companies benefit from the extensive investment and exit experience of the management team as well as from the close cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading innovation and business creation center. With over 240 employees and more than 100 industry partners, UnternehmerTUM can draw from many years of experience in establishing young companies. This cooperation enables UVC Partners to offer startups unique access to talent, industry customers, and other financial partners. The portfolio includes investments such as Blickfeld, Carjump (Free2Move), FlixBus, KONUX, TWAICE and Vimcar.