Accion Systems has announced $42 million in Series C funding led by an affiliate of Tracker Capital Management, LLC (“Tracker Capital”) — this investment brings Accion Systems’ valuation to $83.5 million and Tracker Capital has acquired a majority stake in the company. The funding will accelerate the development of Accion’s next-generation propulsion system and scale up its manufacturing to meet the surging demand for in-space propulsion.
Accion Systems was founded in 2014 by MIT engineers Dr. Natalya Bailey and Louis Perna to accelerate the exploration of space. To fulfill this mission, Accion Systems develops in-space propulsion technologies optimized for scalability, performance, and efficiency. Accion Systems’ flagship product, TILE, uses proprietary electrospray thrusters, bringing electric propulsion to satellites of all sizes and redefining in-space capabilities for the 21st century. As thousands of new satellites and constellations join Earth’s orbit each year, TILE can extend the value and lifetime of each mission while enabling spacecraft to de-orbit sustainably.
This investment will support Accion Systems to develop the next generation TILE system and strengthen the supply chain and at-scale manufacturing of these MEMS systems, leveraging microfabrication processes optimized by the semiconductor industry. Accion Systems will be launching four TILE systems in 2021 and two more in early 2022. Valuable flight heritage and on-orbit data, coupled with the developments in the TILE product line, will provide significant improvements in thrust and total impulse will position Accion Systems for a promising future.
TILE is an efficient, low-SWaP (size, weight, and power) electrospray propulsion system for the space industry. It combines a safe, inert liquid propellant with a simple mechanical design to create a propulsion system that is low-cost, compact, and easy to manufacture, with less than 50% of the power draw of other propulsion technologies. TILE’s thruster heads and propellant supply subsystems can be flexibly arranged within the spacecraft structure to meet the needs of any given mission. For example, TILE can be arranged to torque balance larger satellites; distributed for use as ACS actuators, rendezvous and proximity operations maneuvers; or clustered together for main propulsion.
“We are thankful for Tracker Capital’s trust and confidence in our team, technology, and business and their recognition of our TILE family of in-space thrusters as the future of in-space maneuverability,” said Accion Systems CEO, Peter Kant. “We are now poised to bring propulsion and other maneuverability capabilities to all classes of satellites and a wide range of missions. Ion electrospray provides a common, scalable, and modular propulsion system. We see TILE as the future propulsion system for all space missions. We are thrilled to partner with Tracker Capital and benefit from their resources to help us achieve our mission.”
Tracker Capital Senior Advisor, Michael Morell, commented, “Accion Systems brings innovative technology to help solve one of the space industry’s biggest and most expensive challenges. The company’s propulsion systems are poised to have a transformative impact on space mobility and we are excited to support its vision and talented team.”
Tracker Capital is a stage-agnostic venture capital investor that principally invests in high-potential technology growth companies and was founded by Stephen Feinberg, who is also Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Cerberus Capital Management.