Space

ABL Space Systems adds $200 million to previously raised $170 million

ABL Space Systems adds $200 million to previously raised $170 million

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — ABL Space Systems, a small launch vehicle company, raised an extra $200 million just seven months after raising $170 million.

Fund raising by ABL

ABL announced the additional fundraising on Oct. 25 as part of a $170 million Series B deal that was completed in March. The amended Series B was funded by an existing group of investors.

  1. Rowe Price Associates advised funds and accounts in the original Series B round. Fidelity Management & Research LLC and another “global investment management business” were among the early investors. The company was valued at $1.3 billion in the original Series B investment, but the extended round nearly doubles that to $2.4 billion.

According to Dan Piemont, president and co-founder of ABL, the company still possesses the majority of the $170 million it raised in March. “Somewhat opportunistic and driven by insider interest,” he said of the fresh round. However, the majority of the additional funds will be used to ramp up production of its RS1 vehicle, which is nearing its first launch.

Funding for Future

With more than 75 launches under contract, he stated, “we have received big orders for RS1 and will need to scale faster than we had expected to meet the demand.” “Our investors have noticed the tremendous demand for RS1 and want to ensure that we have all of the resources necessary to meet it.”

He added that the increased cash will help the company’s “medium-term strategy” as it prepares for its initial launch. “As long as we don’t disrupt our medium-term product roadmap, we’re incentivized to move resources aggressively in the short future to ensure mission success,” he said.

Plans and Preparations by ABL

ABL is planning for its maiden RS1 launch from Kodiak Island, Alaska, later this year, with a launch window that runs through December 15. The extra funding will be used to support future vehicle research and development. An annular aerospike engine was also tested for the Air Force Research Laboratory as part of the Aerospike Rocket Integration and Suborbital Experiment program (ARISE).

Other work is centered on ABL’s “orbital launch roadmap,” which Piemont described as “orbital” but declined to elaborate on at this time.

But for the time being, the focus is on the RS1, to which Piemont estimates it is dedicating 90% of its resources. He stated that the business plans to launch eight RS1s in 2022 and double that number in 2023, but that the “scaling goal is always a shifting target.”

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