Garage-born Bristol space tech startup receives funding to develop reusable satellite
Space Forge, a Bristol-based space technology start-up that is designing a reusable and inexpensive space satellite, has just raised funds as part of a funding round. However, the company did not disclose the exact funding round.
Who supported Space Forge?
The cycle was led by Type One Ventures and Space Fund. Other investors including Newable Ventures, DBW, E2MC, Space.vc, Helios Capital, George T Whitesides of Virgin Galactic, BPEC and Dylan Taylor of Voyager Space Holdings also participated.
Founded by Joshua Western and Andrew Bacon in 2018, Space Forge is building a dedicated manufacturing platform called ForgeStars.
What does Space Forge do?
The British company will operate high-speed operations that will rapidly scale up to hundreds of kg without the need for astronauts in place for the manufacturing process.
“Proving a scale and high rate to meet the growing demand for these new materials in space will lead the company to ultimate success,” the company said in a press release.
Materials that benefit from being made in zero gravity, vacuum, or absolute zero would be made before the satellites return to Earth. According to the company’s claims, the new material would return to earth through a custom-made heat shield, landing in the water.
In particular, the company does not use any existing infrastructure such as the ISS.
Started in the garage
Launched from a garage in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, Space Forge now employs 15 people at a new satellite manufacturing plant in Cardiff. The company aims to provide the next generation of products essential to modern clean society, through space manufacturing.
Space Forge technology applications present business opportunities in medicine, technology and materials science.
Harshbir Sangha, Director of Growth for the UK Space Agency, said: “Like many UK space companies, Space Forge is experiencing strong growth – and this new investment will drive growth by helping to improve manufacturing processes in the space. It’s another fantastic example of how government and private sector investment is supporting innovation in the commercial space sector, which now employs 45,000 people and generates £ 16.4 billion for the UK economy.
Dylan Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Voyager Space Holdings. “Space fabrication has been at the heart of my concerns for many years. What Space Forge is doing to close the value loop for space manufacturing and product returns is remarkable. This approach could be a game-changer for the industry.
David Blake, Development Bank of Wales, says: “Our equity financing is perfect for tech start-ups like Space Forge; provide start-up investments to help drive growth and accelerate the development of critical technologies. It is important to note that Space Forge also creates highly skilled jobs. This is a prime example of the innovative tech companies we are attracting to Wales with our funding and we are delighted to support Josh and the team with a second round of investment alongside industry-focused co-investors.
Type One Ventures Managing Partner Tarek Waked says, “Space Forge is years ahead of the competition in terms of development and time to market. There is also a long-held vision in the space industry to use the vastness of space for heavy industry that pollutes the earth. With funding from Space Forge, we are getting closer to that reality.