Firefly Aerospace, nearing the first launch of its Alpha rocket, has announced that it raised $75m in a Series A round that values the company at more than $1bn.
The company said the Series A round was led by DADA Holdings, with participating from Astera Institute, Canon Ball LLC, Reuben Brothers Limited, SMS Capital Investment LLC, Raven One Ventures, The XBTO Ventures and other investors. In addition, Noosphere Ventures, Firefly’s largest investor, sold $100m of its holdings to some of the Series A investors through secondary transactions to satisfy what the company called “overwhelming demand” in the funding round.
The company has been developing its Alpha rocket for the past few years, and has also been awarded commercial and civil government launch contracts from NASA, General Atomics and others. The Texas-based startup has had its share of setbacks, including the bankruptcy of its original iteration, Firefly Space Systems, which was subsequently reborn as Firefly Aerospace as a wholly-owned venture bankrolled by Noosphere Ventures.
The company’s second life also includes a redesigned Alpha vehicle that has more launch capacity, with the ability to carry 1000kg to low Earth orbit, or 600kg to sun-synchronous orbit. It’s also developing a lunar lander called “Blue Ghost,” in order to provide lunar payload delivery services for NASA as part of its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme.
The new funding round will support design work on a medium-class launch vehicle, called Beta.