Bavaria, Germany-based The Exploration Company, a space tech company, announced on Wednesday that it has secured €40.5M in a Series A round of funding led by EQT Ventures and Red River West.
Promus Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Vsquared, Ommnes Capital, July Fund, Partech, Habert Dassault Finance, Schlumberger, WMA, Possible Ventures, Rymdkapital, and Sista Fund also participated in the round.
The Exploration Company says it will use the funds to commercialise its first full-scale space capsule, Nyx Mission Odyssey (planned for a 2026 launch), that will fly goods to space stations and return to Earth.
The capital will also be used to finalise and fly its second demonstration capsule, Nyx Mission Possible, which will perform a controlled re-entry in the atmosphere in a launch planned for 2024.
The proceeds will also be allocated to growing the European team.
The Exploration Company: What you need to know
The Exploration Company was founded by Héléne Huby and a team of experienced aerospace engineers in 2021 to democratise space exploration and to make it affordable and sustainable.
The German company built its first re-entry demonstrator in nine months.
The Exploration Company is now developing its second demonstrator that will fly into space and re-enter the atmosphere in a controlled manner, safely bringing back to Earth cargo payloads from clients, including several space agencies in Europe.
The final vehicle, Nyx, will carry goods and humans into space to service space stations and pursue long-range exploration missions. The vehicle can be reused multiple times and uses green propellants.
Apart from Nyx, The Exploration Company is developing open interface software and hardware available in a SpaceStore, enabling customers to build on these open interfaces and develop platforms that suits their needs.
Héléne Huby, co-founder and CEO, says, “Within this decade, we will see humanity expand into space and build space stations, sometimes in partnership with the private sector, around the Earth and the Moon, paving the way for humans’ sustainable settlement on the Moon and beyond.”
“Currently, these transformational developments are led by a few players. We want to democratise space exploration by providing more sustainable and affordable capacities,” he adds.
“As such, we can enable nations, space & non-space industries, and individuals to participate in and contribute to the building of the new space world,” he says.
Ted Persson of EQT Ventures says, “It has been nearly half a century since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Since then, the industry has focused on creating innovative launch devices to get satellites, and in some cases people, into space.”
Persson adds, “Héléne and the team have brought together a unique mix of world-class industry veterans and young space and software engineers to capitalise on a huge market opportunity and will ultimately enable Europe — and others — to participate in the discovery of the new space worlds, sustainably and cooperatively.”