UK spaceflight company Orbex has received £16.7m from a group of six significant investors in an update to its Series C funding round, which it will use to accelerate rocket development.

The funding takes the total funds raised by the business to £102 million.

With pre-launch testing underway, the funding will help Orbex ramp up the development of Prime, its 19-metre long, two-stage rocket designed to transport small satellites into Low Earth Orbit.

The aim is to ensure full readiness and scalability for its launch period.

Orbex now has 2 active patents in a number of European countries and the United States covering various parts of its rocket technology.

It is powered by a renewable biofuel, which allows the rocket to reduce carbon emissions significantly compared to other similarly sized rockets being developed elsewhere around the world.

Investors involved in the deal include £10.5m of follow-on investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank, venture capital firms Octopus Ventures, BGF, Heartcore, the Export & Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) and corporate and angel investors.

The funding injection comes after scale-up expert Phillip Chambers and former Director General of the Spanish Space Agency Miguel Belló Mora joined to form a new leadership team in January. Chambers himself became an investor in the firm’s £40m Series C funding round in 2022.

The new funding continues Orbex’s growth journey, following £3.3 million in funding from the UK Space Agency in December last year.

Phillip Chambers, CEO of Orbex, said: “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 testing and launch now in its sights, Orbex will soon enter a new phase of growth with a Series D funding round, which will aim to secure its long-term prospects as the leading orbital launch business in Europe.
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