The Exploration Company nets €40M for green space capsule
The Exploration Company announced a €40.5 million (∼$44 million) Series A to propel its plans to build a reusable, green-fueled space capsule.
Why it matters: The Exploration Company wants to build the European rival to SpaceX, whose capsules ferried cargo and crew to the International Space Station.
Details: EQT Ventures and Red River West led the all-equity round.
- Ted Persson, partner at EQT Ventures, and Alfred Vericel, founding partner of Red River West, are joining the company's board.
What they're saying: "We saw The Exploration Company as a very rare opportunity to back a European company that could reach the same scale" as SpaceX, Persson tells Axios.
Zoom in: The company will use what it says is a nontoxic, green propellant and a capsule that can be reused at least five times (an amount similar to SpaceX capsules).
The intrigue: The Exploration Company says it's relying solely on private funding.
- Founder and CEO Hélène Huby says she's happy to remain privately funded, a stance she says makes the company more nimble than competitors that partly depend on funding from government agencies such as NASA.
- That said, Huby is aware that such an approach has consequences.
- "Private investors are not willing to accept huge delays," Huby tells Axios. "We need to show very soon that we’re going to have anchor clients."
What's next: The company plans to launch a "baby" capsule this year that measures about two feet across.
- The Series A funding will fund a subsequent "teenage" capsule, Huby says.