Australia’s launch services company Gilmour Space Technologies has secured $61 million from global investors to manufacture more rockets and support the global New Space industry.
The largest private equity investment raised by a space company in Australia, Gilmour Space’s total funds raised to date amount to $87M with this Series C round of investments. Investors included US-based Fine Structure Ventures, Australian venture capital firms Blackbird and Main Sequence, and Australian superannuation funds HESTA, Hostplus and NGS Super.
“We are excited to be making our first investment in Australia with Gilmour Space Technologies,” Fine Structure Ventures managing partner and leading investor Brett Rome said.
“The team at Gilmour is building the leading sovereign launch company in Australia and utilising their innovative hybrid rocket engine to efficiently address the growing global demand for putting satellites into orbit.”
More rockets, more business
Since launching its first hybrid rocket mid-2016, Gilmour Space has reached significant technology milestones and become a world leader in orbital-class hybrid propulsion technologies. These use safer and lower cost fuels than traditional chemical propulsion rockets.
Recently, the company has also secured launch contracts with Australian and international customers including US-based Momentus, Sydney-based Space Machines Company and South Australia’s Fleet Space Technologies.
“It’s fantastic to see the global support for our mission to build and launch lower cost rockets and satellites to orbit,” Gilmour Space CEO and co-founder Adam Gilmour said.
“This new investment will give us runway to launch our first orbital rocket in 2022. It will help us develop multiple Eris vehicles, grow our team from 70 to 120 in the next 12 months, build our sovereign space manufacturing capability for rockets and satellites and facilitate a commercial spaceport in Queensland, where we hope to launch the world’s first hybrid rocket in space.”
Space for growth
Gilmour Space is defining Australian space manufacturing at its Gold Coast, Queensland rocket facility with over 70 employees and a growing network of 300 partners and suppliers.
“It’s been amazing to see what Gilmour Space has achieved so far in proving that they can build a reliable hybrid rocket engine capable of powering the next generation of launch vehicles,” Blackbird Ventures partner Rick Baker said, who led Gilmour Space’s first $5M Series A round in 2017.
“The Australian space industry is attracting significant investment, and Gilmour Space is leading the way,” Main Sequence partner Martin Duursama said, who led the company’s $19M Series B in 2018.
“They are hiring, training and building a new supply chain that is driving capabilities at scale across the whole space sector.”
Gilmour Space’s progress has attracted some of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, including HESTA and Hostplus.
“This is a great example of how we’re investing to support visionary businesses take that next step in their growth and development,” HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said.
“Gilmour Space is going where no Australian business has gone before, which can open up exciting new opportunities for high-tech industries and jobs in Australia, while helping to grow our members’ retirement savings.”
“Hostplus’ investment strategy is long-term focused, which is why we invest in Australian companies that develop life-changing technologies and innovations that will provide enduring economic and societal benefits,” Hostplus CEO David Elia said.
“This unique investment presents potential strategic benefits as we anticipate Gilmour’s valuation increasing, and we are delighted to support the exciting future ahead for Australia’s space industry.”
All Orbits, All Planets
“My brother James and I started the rocket program in 2015 with the goal of one day sending humans to space,” Gilmour said.
“We always knew it would be a difficult journey, but it makes me proud to think that our ambition and progress have contributed to the tremendous growth of Australia’s new space industry.
“Today, we are growing an amazing team committed to providing affordable and reliable satellites and rocket launches to our global customers. We’re backed by top investors, and we are proud to be supporting some of the world’s most innovative space companies as they look to create significant and positive outcomes for humanity,” he said.