Tucson-based Vector, a leading microsatellite launch company comprised of New Space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced that it has secured $70M in a Series B funding round led by Kodem Growth Partners, in conjunction with Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures also participated in the round. This latest investment follows a surge in enthusiasm around Vector’s unique approach to the space industry and will help further Vector’s vision to fundamentally change the way space is accessed.
“Vector is entering an extremely important phase of our journey, transitioning from a focus on research and development to flight operations and profitability. This Series B financing is a critical element in Vector’s mission to improve access to space and become a dominant launch provider to the small satellite industry,” said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. “We appreciate the confidence that our existing Series A investors have shown in their support for Vector, including Sequoia, Lightspeed and Shasta Ventures. We’re excited to welcome our new investors, Kodem Growth Partners, who bring deep industry expertise, tremendous financial backing and exposure to the capital markets consistent with our goal to make an initial public offering of Vector.”
“Vector’s solution for routine and affordable access to space is what motivated Sequoia to partner with Vector in their Series A,” said Bill Coughran, Partner at Sequoia. “Since then, Vector has grown rapidly and we look forward to continuing the journey with this tenacious team.”
“Low earth orbit satellite launches are projected to grow nearly four times in the next four years, but no dedicated launch platform exists with robust capability to get small satellites into space,” said Alex Taussig, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “We believe in Vector’s ability to capitalize on the tremendous customer interest through its launch services, which is why we’ve increased our investment in this round.”
Capitalizing on the booming small satellite launch market, the Series B round saw investment from new investors, Kodem Growth Partners, who will help Vector achieve its ultimate goal of positioning the company for an eventual initial public offering. As part of the Series B financing round, Vector welcomes Philip Friedman, Operating Partner at Kodem Growth Partners, to its board of directors. Vector’s current board includes Bill Coughran from Sequoia, James Palmer formerly of Northrop Grumman Corporation, as well as Jim Cantrell, John Garvey and Shaun Coleman from Vector.
“We view Vector as a true platform investment in a segment of the aerospace market that is undergoing rapid transformation driven by innovative private sector companies,” said Philip Friedman, Operating Partner at Kodem Growth Partners. “It’s an honor to join the board of directors and support the Vector team through this exciting time. Vector will be a leader in the launch and software defined satellite categories, which offers a tremendous opportunity for value creation.”
In addition to raising its Series B funding, Vector has achieved several notable milestones since its Series A round including:
- Achieving many technical milestones and proving the ability to launch anywhere, anytime with the first launch of a rocket from Camden, Ga., and concept of operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
- Attracting key talent including Vice President of Manufacturing Brian Barron, who is leading efforts to industrialize the production of launch vehicles and factory operations.
- Expanding sales to Japan and other Asia markets, and securing several key customer wins and launch agreements.
- Executing strategic partnership with industry leader Citrix Systems.
- Expanding its footprint with new Silicon Valley headquarters to facilitate growth in sales and marketing, and also opening Vector’s software defined satellite division, GalacticSky.
- Receiving 12 issued U.S. patents for Vector software defined satellite technology and critical launch vehicle components.
Over the next few months, Vector will expand its sales and marketing teams, effectively doubling its footprint in Silicon Valley. In addition, as the company enters into the production phase of its launch vehicles, Vector expects to break ground on its state-of-the-art factory in Tucson, AZ. This financing round also marks a critical milestone on Vector’s journey towards its first orbital attempt, which will take place from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska.