From: Vector Space Systems
Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017
Vector, the micro satellite launch company that's decreasing barriers to entry and increasing speed to orbit, today announced $21M Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed. This round brings Vector's total funding to $31M and follows a landmark first half of 2017 for the company.
"Securing this round of funding is not only a testament to the industry's confidence in our team and launch vehicle technology, but is also a significant validation of the entire micro satellite launch industry," said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. "We are seeing dramatic growth in the demand for space access, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission to expand the commercial space market."
This investment comes on the heels of Vector's successful flight test of the full-scale prototype Vector-R launch vehicle in May, making Vector one of the first to accomplish a successful launch in the new commercial space launch industry. Vector also closed a $4.5M bridge financing round in April.
"Vector is democratizing space access by making possible frequent, reliable and affordable launches of small satellites into orbit," said Bill Coughran, partner at Sequoia. "We've been impressed with Vector's achievements in just 14 months, and are thrilled to partner with such credible veterans of the space industry."
With this most recent round of funding, Vector will accelerate the company's upcoming flight test series and launch orbital customer missions in early 2018. Vector's next launch is planned for Summer 2017, making it the first launch ever from the historic Spaceport Camden in Georgia, where NASA tested rocket engines in the 1960s. In addition to flight test launch activities, Vector plans to develop its first GalacticSky satellites and break ground on a world-class rocket factory in Pima County, Arizona.
Vector will open a new office later this summer to support GalacticSky in downtown San Jose. Vector's Silicon Valley headquarters will focus on developing the first software defined satellites, including developer tools and a purpose-built satellite application operating system for entrepreneurs. This office will also support GalacticSky's partnership with Citrix to bring virtualization technology to micro satellites.
"Until Vector, there hasn't been an accessible, all-encompassing solution for the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities to innovate in space," said Rob Coneybeer managing director and co-founder of Shasta Ventures. "The market is ripe and primed for micro satellite launchers and Vector is poised to strike on the increasing demand we see in the market – we see Vector as being far ahead of the competition."
"Vector's powerful mission to transform the commercial space industry is what motivated Lightspeed to make our first investment in the emerging space sector," said Alex Taussig, partner at Lighstpeed. "Vector's leading position in the market, as demonstrated by their recent successful launch, makes the entire industry an attractive opportunity for many."
Founded in 2016 by new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Citrix and VMware, Vector's mission is aimed at revolutionizing the commercial space industry by increasing accessibility for entrepreneurs and space innovators. Through dedicated low-cost micro satellites launch services and software defined satellites, Vector is significantly decreasing the barriers to entry and increasing speed to orbit.
Vector is a disruptive space access company that connects space startups and innovators with affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles at a price never before possible. Comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Citrix and VMware, Vector's mission is to completely reshape and revolutionize the space access industry. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/.
About Sequoia Capital:
From idea to IPO and beyond, the Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what's possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched network and the lessons we've learned over 45 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ's total value. We're proud that their success also fuels great causes. The vast majority of money we invest is on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means that the returns generated from the incredible achievements of founders can make a massive difference.
About Shasta Ventures:
Shasta Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital firm partnering with bold creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about building great products and amazing experiences. Founded in 2004, Shasta Ventures has funded more than 100 companies specializing in consumer and enterprise technology with a focus on emerging platforms across both sectors. Investments include Apptio, Dollar Shave Club, Mint, Nest and many promising private companies such as Anaplan, Eero, Glint, Leanplum, Nextdoor, Smule, Turo, Zuora and more. The firm is based in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. Find out more at www.shastaventures.com, or follow us on Twitter at @shasta.
Lightspeed Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 300 companies globally, including Snap, The Honest Company, GIPHY, Nest, GrubHub, Affirm, Nutanix, AppDynamics, and MuleSoft. The firm currently manages over $4 billion of committed capital and invests in the U.S. and internationally, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India and China. http://lsvp.com
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