Paris-based Dark bags €5.6M to remove dangerous space debris; this SpaceX investor joins the round

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Dark, a Paris-based space company focusing on orbital security, announced that it has secured $6M (approximately €5.63M) in extension to its Seed funding round. This round adds to the $5M Dark raised in 2021.

The French startup claims to have now secured contracts worth several million dollars with the French government and its Space Agency.

Dark will use this money to support future initiatives like emergency debris removal using their Interceptor platform and developing new propulsion technology.

Investors supporting Dark

The investment, led by global investment company Eurazeo, includes participation from Long Journey, a US-based VC firm known for backing companies like SpaceX and Anduril.

Long Journey supports “magically weird” companies and founders in bringing their visions to life. The firm has backed over 40 unicorns, including SpaceX, Anduril, Uber, Notion, DeepMind, Postmates, and Loom. 

Long Journey is now joining Dark’s investment round alongside Eurazeo and Frst.

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Arielle Zuckerberg, General Partner at Long Journey, says, “Anduril and SpaceX have reshaped entire industries through their bold ventures into uncharted territories. Dark, committed to advancing space security, shares this pioneering spirit as a category- creators in this exciting new industry.”

“When we first met Dark’s founders and team, we immediately knew there was something magically weird about them. Their accomplishments within the European landscape have been remarkable and it highlights not only their commitment and conviction, but also their ingenuity.”

Capital utilisation

The funding will enable Dark to enter its second phase of development, preparing for an orbital defense demonstration by 2026.

The company plans to use new in-house technologies, such as advanced radar for space detection and specialised orbital propulsion systems designed to maneuver large objects and facilitate controlled re-entry into the atmosphere.

“The next frontier: Space security”

According to Dark, the space debris problem is significant, with over 100 million pieces in orbit, including more than 30,000 objects larger than 10 cm and over 5,000 abandoned rocket bodies or dead satellites. 

As these objects return to Earth, they pose risks by either causing collisions that generate more debris or undergoing uncontrolled re-entry, which is hazardous. Space agencies highlight that we’ve reached a critical point with space debris, and urgent action is needed to remove it.

Dark’s primary focus is on removing the largest objects responsible for the most dangerous re-entries and debris generation, aiming to address this pressing issue.

Founded in 2022 by Clyde Laheyne and Guillaume Orvain, Dark is developing advanced technology to swiftly deorbit heavy, uncontrolled space debris like abandoned rocket stages and defunct satellites. This capability aims to prevent collisions in space.

Dark’s platform not only targets this emerging market but also plans to offer services to related sectors.

Brief about Eurazeo

Eurazeo is a global investment group with a diverse portfolio of €35B in assets under management, including investments in around 600 companies. The firm specialises in private equity, private debt, real estate assets, and infrastructure investments, supporting companies of all sizes with sector expertise and global market access.

The firm, listed on Euronext Paris, has offices in Paris, New York, London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan, Madrid, Luxembourg, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore and Sao Paulo.

Speaking about investment in Dark, Antoine Zins, MD at Eurazeo, says, “Two years ago, we took a leap with our investment, betting on two founders with a vision to secure space. Since then, Dark’s execution has surpassed our expectations, demonstrating their capacity to develop unique technologies and capabilities.”

“They are on a path to build a global category-defining company that will solve an existential problem for the space industry. We are very excited to double down on this round.”

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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