Orbion Space Technology has raised $20 million in Series B funding in an oversubscribed round led by Inventus Capital Partners, a venture firm focused on developing companies that are defining and dominating high-growth markets — additional participants in the round include Material Impact, Beringea and Wakestream Ventures.
With Orbion’s Aurora Hall-effect plasma thruster system seeing widespread market acceptance, the company has quickly outgrown its existing manufacturing infrastructure.
Orbion’s Aurora propulsion system uses the spacecraft’s electrical power to provide gentle but very fuel-efficient thrust that is required by commercial constellations, demanding government applications as well as deep-space science missions. Aurora is used throughout the life of a spacecraft to raise the orbit altitude, avoid in-space collisions and finally de-orbit the spacecraft at end of life. Orbion’s manufacturing approach combines best practices developed in the automotive and tactical missile industries to achieve the optimal combination of capacity, low-cost, and high-reliability.
As the demand for electric propulsion increases, Orbion has been receiving and responding to high interest from constellation builders, with an estimated $1 billion in market opportunities. Recent notable contracts include the Department of Defense and Blue Canyon.
“We have built and are operating a state-of-the-art space manufacturing factory, but due to unprecedented market demand we are at a point that additional capital will help us to scale our production capacity to 100s of units per year with no sacrifice in quality,” said Brad King, Co-Founder and CEO of Orbion. “Owning the whole manufacturing process is key to controlling quality and ensuring responsiveness for our customers. We considered various business models that employed contract manufacturers to build our thrusters, but at the end of the day the thruster carries an Orbion brand and our customers need to know that it was built entirely by experts in the field. We are strong believers in vertically integrated manufacturing, and we are excited to scale our best-in-class space factory operations.”
“The space game is changing. Large satellites are being replaced by a multitude of nano-satellites; just like the PCs replaced mainframes. Orbion is providing these nano-satellites maneuverability to get into more precise orbits and stay there longer,” said Kanwal Rekhi, MD, Inventus Capital Partners.