European space company Isar Aerospace has closed a U.S.$17 million Series A investment round led by Earlybird and Airbus Ventures to develop low-cost launch vehicles dedicated to deploying and resupplying satellite constellations.
Existing investors Vito Ventures and UVC Partners participated in the round alongside Bulent Altan who served 12 years at SpaceX including Vice President positions as well as Christian Angermayer’s Apeiron Investment Group.
Isar Aerospace was founded in 2018 by Daniel Metzler, Josef Fleischmann, and Markus Brandl, all of them studied at the Technical University of Munich and have a background in Aerospace Engineering. The company is leveraging advanced manufacturing to enable high performance yet low cost access to space, serving small and medium satellite manufacturers who drive innovation and digitization with data from space. “Space is becoming the new internet and its commercialization is in full swing,” said Daniel Metzler, CEO of Isar Aerospace. “This funding round enables us to progress substantially in our development of sustainable, environmentally-friendly launch vehicles and further deliver on our vision to make space access affordable for everyone.”
Hendrik Brandis, partner at Earlybird comments: “There is a new spirit of optimism in aerospace. We see the New Space segment as a business of the future around rockets and satellites. Isar Aerospace convinced us in particular with its professional, motivated and highly talented team. This is our first investment in this field, and we are proud to support Isar Aerospace as their Series A lead investor and look forward to accompanying them on their journey as investors and supporters.”
Over the past year, Isar Aerospace has been developing its Spectrum rocket at unmatched speed. The development is fully on track for first launch in late 2021 while key milestones such as propulsion system hotfire testing and agreements for launch site access have been achieved. “At Airbus Ventures we’re proud to add Isar Aerospace to our global portfolio of innovative launch systems,” remarks Airbus Ventures Financial Officer and EMEA team member Claas Carsten Kohl. Mathieu Costes, Airbus Ventures Partner adds “We’re pleased to entrust Daniel and his outstanding team, bringing impressive new technologies and approaches to the challenges of Low Earth Orbit, to represent our first deal in Germany. Together with our investment round co-leader Earlybird and under the continuing guidance of Bulent Altan we’re pleased to help draw together the ecosystems of new space excellence in both Germany and in the wider Airbus universe.”
The Isar Aerospace launch manifest is also picking up momentum with governmental and commercial customers including a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus Defence and Space for multiple satellite constellations launches.
“Since the seed round where I participated as well, I was able to watch Isar Aerospace’s progress closely and I have to say that they have made impressive progress in their quest of building a cost effective medium sized launcher and differentiating themselves in this ever growing launcher market by targeting the right segment with solid engineering. As such this investment decision was an easy one to make,” says Bulent Altan.
Isar Aerospace democratizes access to space through flexible and low-cost satellite launch services. The company capitalizes on technology leaps in advanced manufacturing increasing both performance and environmental responsibility. Based on cutting-edge rocket engineering research, the innovative propulsion architecture lowers emissions drastically for sustainable use of space, paving the way for future space exploration.
Earlybird is a venture capital investor focused on European technology companies. Founded in 1997, Earlybird invests in all growth and development phases of a company. Amongst the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources, but also strategic and operational focuses in digital technologies in Eastern and Western Europe as well as health technologies. With over EUR 1 billion under management, seven IPOs and 24 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most successful venture capital firms in Europe.
Airbus Ventures is a venture capital firm proudly inheriting the Adaptive Innovation, Systems Thinking, and International Mindset that distinguish our mothership Airbus, an aerospace upstart since its own beginnings. Building on this heritage we always aim to deeply support our portfolio companies, so that once invested, we can better understand, team and promote our portfolio Founders’ businesses to the Airbus worldwide network of partnering opportunities.
Vito Ventures is an early stage deep-tech VC firm based in Munich focusing on investments across Europe in areas such as machine intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems and frontier hardware models in the field of new space or quantum computing. Vito Ventures has been lead investor in the seed round of Isar Aerospace.
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 industrial technologies, enterprise software and mobility. The fund typically invests between € 0.5 – 3m initially and up to € 12m 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 180 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 FlixBus, Carjump (Free2Move), KONUX, Blickfeld, 3YOURMIND and Vimcar.