Orbex Secures £16.7M Investment to Accelerate Development of Sustainable Orbital Launch Vehicle

Orbex Secures £16.7M Investment to Accelerate Development of Sustainable Orbital Launch Vehicle

UK-based spaceflight company Orbex has secured £16.7 million in funding from six significant investors, bringing the total funds raised to £102 million.

The investment will support the development of Orbex’s Prime, a 19-metre-long, two-stage rocket designed to transport small satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) while prioritizing sustainability and carbon reduction.

A4 Daytime image

Founded in 2015, Orbex has quickly become a key player in the European space industry. The company operates from its headquarters, production, and testing facilities in Scotland and design and testing facilities in Denmark. Orbex’s team comprises experienced professionals with backgrounds in NASA, ESA, and several commercial spaceflight organizations.

The £16.7 million investment is an update to Orbex’s Series C funding round and includes £10.5 million of follow-on investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank. Other investors in the round include venture capital firms Octopus Ventures, BGF, Heartcore, the Export & Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), and corporate and angel investors. This funding follows a £3.3 million investment from the UK Space Agency in December 2022.

Orbex’s Prime rocket stands out in the industry due to its focus on sustainability. The missile is powered by a renewable biofuel, which significantly reduces carbon emissions compared to other similarly sized rockets being developed worldwide. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the goals of Orbex’s investors, such as the Scottish National Investment Bank, which prioritizes supporting businesses that contribute to a net-zero economy.

Phillip Chambers, CEO of Orbex, emphasized the importance of this funding in the company’s growth journey: “Orbex is one of only two space rocket manufacturers in the UK, and the only one to also operate its own spaceport. Our technology is pivotal in making the UK a hub for European orbital launch, and we are entering a critical phase of development. We are building a sustainable, cost-effective launch vehicle to compete with the best of Europe’s spaceflight manufacturers. This additional funding will support our goal to push on into an operational launch phase and scale our business when the time comes.”

With pre-launch testing underway and two active patents covering various parts of its rocket technology, Orbex is making significant progress towards providing sustainable orbital launch services. The company plans to enter a Series D funding round shortly to secure its long-term position as Europe’s leading orbital launch business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Orbex has raised £16.7 million in updated Series C funding, bringing total funds to £102 million.
  • The funding will support the development of Orbex’s Prime rocket, designed for sustainable launches of small satellites into LEO.
  • Orbex’s rocket technology prioritizes carbon reduction through the use of renewable biofuel.
  • Investors include the Scottish National Investment Bank, Octopus Ventures, BGF, Heartcore, and EIFO.
  • Orbex plans to enter Series D funding to secure its position as Europe’s leading orbital launch business.
Born to Engineer Weekly

Get the latest Engineering news delivered to your inbox every Monday morning