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Space infrastructure company Loft Orbital is raising $140 million

Space infrastructure company Loft Orbital is raising $140 million

December 09, 2021: -Loft Orbital, a space infrastructure start-up, is raising $140 million in a new round of funding was led by investment behemoth BlackRock.

The San Francisco-based company is launching its missions to space this year, with Loft planning to make use of the new capital to scale its business and double its team.

“The good way to think of us is we provide space-infrastructure-as-a-service,” Loft Orbital co-founder and COO Alex Greenberg told CNBC.

“If you’re a customer with either a single payload or a constellation that you want to put in space, but you don’t want to be the one building or designing your satellite dealing with the manufacturer, that deal with the launch provider, and then actually operating it once it’s in space then you work with someone like us,” Greenberg further said.

The company has raised $130 million, including contributions from investors such as CEAS Investments, Foundation Capital, Uncork Capital, Ubiquity VC, and more. The Loft also raised an additional $10 million from the same investors through convertible notes, which meant short-term debt, which converted during the round – bringing its total capital raised to $140 million.

Beyond San Francisco, Loft also has manufacturing and facilities in Denver, Colorado, and Toulouse, France. The company has 70 employees at present, with Loft co-founder and CEO Pierre-Damien Vaujour telling CNBC to grow to about 160 people by 2022.

To date, Loft has launched two spacecraft, which the company calls YAMs, or “Yet Another Mission,” that are in orbit currently, each carrying several payloads for customers. The Loft has more than 20 customers so far, including NASA, DARPA, the U.S. Space Force, and Honeywell.

Greenberg emphasized that it takes “between 18 and 36 months to get a satellite-delivered” after an order in the space industry. But, to speed things up, Loft orders its spacecraft “without even having the knowledge of what’s going to fly on it,” he said.

“It’s almost like an inventory model, or a fulfillment center model where we have the satellites in-house, a customer shows up, we stick them on and send them to the launch site,” Greenberg said. He also said that the business model means Loft’s customers “can get to space in a couple of months rather than a couple of years if they were to do it themselves.”

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Space infrastructure company Loft Orbital is raising $140 million