• Article
  • 04 Jun 2024
Kirsty  WilliamsPhoto
Kirsty Williams

Orbex’s Latest Round of Funding Signals Industry Faith in the Company

Low Angle Reusable Rocket + Listing Image

Image Courtesy: Orbex

Orbex, one of only two space rocket manufacturers in the UK, recently closed its Series C round of funding, bringing its total up to £102 million. The latest £16.7 million of funding has been classed as its “ramp up” rocket funding, highlighting the company’s recent growth and push for readiness.


But what will Orbex do with this funding, and what does its ramp up period mean? Let’s take a look.

Orbex’s Latest Investment

The latest £16.7 million of funding is just part of its larger £40 million Series C funding. The money comes from a diverse range of investors, including the Scottish National Investment Bank and numerous venture capital firms. It’s a decent amount of money for the company to secure, and the range of investors shows the industry’s faith in Orbex’s concept.

The investment follows recent news that Orbex hired a new CEO and Executive Chair in January. Phillip Chambers comes to the company with 25 years of experience in scaling tech companies, and Miguel Bello Mora comes to Orbex from the Spanish Space Agency. Both were brought on specifically for their expertise in scaling growth-focused tech companies and vital industry knowledge.

What is Orbex’s Ramp Up Period?

What all this means for Orbex, then, is a clear pivot to scalability and readiness for launch. Considering its first flight was planned for 2023, it’s fair to assume we can’t be that far off from the official launch date.

The focus of this funding is readiness for the intended launch period. All too often do we see product launches that are half-baked or in need of tweaking, none of which can happen when your product is a space rocket. Orbex therefore needs to ensure its product is ready for its launch date, and that the company will have the facilities to scale to meet demand.

What Does this Mean for the Industry?

Orbex is still something of a novelty in the space industry. It was founded with a focus on sustainability, whether this is its use of bio-propane or its 3D printed engine. Either way, Orbex stands out as a space company designed with the future of space launches in mind.

Then there’s its position as one of only two rocket manufacturers in the UK, and the only one with its own spaceport under development. This positions Orbex as a potential major disruptor in the wider European space sector, as it has numerous unique selling points that make it a potentially desirable company.

While its basic mission – launching microsats into low-Earth orbit – isn’t new, its approach is. The British space industry is comparatively new, at least from a home-grown launch perspective, and Orbex is establishing itself as one of the frontrunners in this burgeoning industry.

Looking to the Future

The race to the finish is by no means over, though. Orbex still has to launch its Series D funding, which will focus on its long-term growth in the space sector. However, the establishment of its new leadership team, combined with investments from some big names, are clearly positive steps for Orbex. They are signs of faith in its business model and concept, and hopefully the results of its ramp up period will further cement this position.