German rocket maker raises record €155m for 2023 launch
German satellite launch service company Isar Aerospace has raised €155m ($165m), the largest funding round in 2023 for a space company.
The Series C 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.
This brings the total funding to €310m since 2018 for its rocket and engine development to provide another European technology for launching satellites later this year.
The company has developed proprietary know-how through full vertical integration, owning design, production, and testing operations entirely in-house. Its manufacturing facility, established in Munich, provides maximum reliability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility.
The high degree of automation allows for future scalability with the inaugural flight planned for the second half of 2023 from the launch site in Andøya, Norway.
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The company has signed firm contracts with customers globally, including major commercial players, New Space companies, and government institutions and the flight manifest is already fully booked for its first years of operations.
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.
Porsche SE and HV Capital will join Isar Aerospace’s Advisory Board together with 7-Industries Holding joining in an observer capacity.
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.
The company has run 719 test sequences on both the subsystems of the engine and the integrated system of the Aquila engine at its engine test site in Esrange, Sweden. 124 hotfires have reached nominal ignitions, chamber pressures and performance while optimizing the design for high manufacturing throughput.
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“We are excited that we achieved major progress in the development and our hard work has paid off. Having full control over our systems and owning the engine technology will be an essential element in our journey to orbit,” says Josef Fleischmann, CTO and COO at Isar Aerospace.
“The strong interest and commitment from our international investors signals their confidence in our vision and technological capabilities,” said Daniel Metzler, Co-Founder and CEO of Isar Aerospace. “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.”
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.”