Franco-German spacetech The Exploration Company has raised a record €40.5 million in a Series A funding round led by EQT Ventures and Red River West. Building upon a €5.3 million seed round that was aimed at helping the company in developing, producing, and operating a modular and reusable orbital vehicle dubbed Nyx.
Nyx, aptly named in honour of the Greek Goddess of the cosmos creation, is destined to be utilised by private and public operators to fly cargo into space, resupply space stations, and in time, transport humans.
A portion of the 8x (trans-lunar) injection will be used to commercialise The Exploration Company’s maiden vehicle, Nyx Mission Odyssey, as it shuttles goods to space stations and safely return to Earth. Additional funding has been earmarked for the completion and launch of the startup’s second vehicle as well as expanding the team.
The Exploration Company team consists of a number of former Airbus and ArianeGroup employees including co-founder and CEO Hélène Huby, who served in a number of positions including Director of Innovation with Airbus Defence & Space as well as VP - Space Strategy.
Likewise, the startup’s strategic advisors include General André Lanata, former Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Chief of Staff of the French Air Force.
“Within this decade, we will see humanity expand into space and building 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,” said Huby.
“We want to democratize space exploration by providing more sustainable and affordable capacities. Nyx, our spacecraft, is the first space capsule to be privately funded, the first to use green propellants, and the first to open source its operating system. As such, we can enable nations, space and non-space industries, and individuals to participate in and contribute to the building of the new space world.”
In addition to EQT Ventures' and Red River West's lead, The Exploration Company’s €40.5 million Series A round participation from both new and existing investors including, Promus Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Vsquared, Omnes Capital, July Fund, Partech, Possible Ventures, Habert Dassault Finance, Schlumberger and Sista Fund.