Varda Space Industries, the world’s first in-space manufacturing and hypersonic Earth re-entry logistics company, has announced the completion of a $90 million Series B funding round.

The funding has been led by Caffeinated Capital, with participation from Lux Capital, General Catalyst, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures. Varda has raised $145 million to date.

Since opening its office doors in 2021, Varda has successfully launched and reentered its first hypersonic reentry capsule, the W-1, which was the first ever commercial spacecraft to land on U.S. soil when it returned in February. The capsule’s payload included an experiment to reformulate Ritonavir, a well-known antiretroviral drug primarily used to treat HIV.

By processing pharmaceuticals and other materials in microgravity, the near-weightless conditions found in low-Earth orbit, Varda offers a unique environment not available through terrestrial pharmaceutical processing.

In addition, Varda’s cost-effective, end-to-end orbit and reentry system is the first commercial offering of its kind, making it possible for industry to access space to advance all manner of reentry related technologies through rapid testing and data generation.

“Over the past 15 years, many of the largest biopharma companies in the world, through research on the ISS, have shown the huge potential of microgravity. Varda is their first pathway to commercialise this work, and we’re pleased to see our investors recognise that potential,” said Varda President Delian Asparouhov.

In addition to the successful reentry of the W-1 capsule earlier this year, the Varda team has also published on the discovery of a third form of the HIV drug Ritonavir, as well as the development of a hypergravity crystallisation platform, which has shown ways that gravity can be used as a variable in small molecule therapeutics formulation and development. Varda’s second vehicle, W-2, is scheduled to launch this summer.

“Access to microgravity means Varda can help partners develop unique pharmaceutical formulations not otherwise possible. Varda offers a path to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry, potentially leading to reductions in healthcare costs and better patient outcomes,” said Varda CEO Will Bruey.

“We have built our platform’s capabilities and rapid cadence to be specifically tailored for the pharmaceutical industry and we are excited to finally bring the value of microgravity to the masses.”

Varda’s capsule is modular by design and in addition to flying pharmaceutical processing payloads, Varda’s spacecraft can also be utilised by a wide variety of partner payloads; offering the ability for users such as the US government to test materials and systems through both space and reentry environments.

Varda aims to eventually launch capsules on a monthly cadence, making space research, development, and orbital manufacturing accessible to a range of terrestrial industries.

“In the world of deeply ambitious startups, you almost never see anyone say, ‘Here’s my plan, I’m going to go get it done,’ and it actually happens. Varda is one of the few that gets it done, which is why we are thrilled to continue supporting them,” said Raymond Tonsing, Founder and Managing Partner at Caffeinated Capital.
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

You may also be interested in

Fleet Space launches next-gen Centauri-6 satellite

Euroconsult and SpaceTec Partners to merge

Muon Space redefines LEO satellite constellations