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The Exploration Company Secures €40 Million Funding in a Record Series A Round for the European Space Tech Sector

The Exploration Company, raises €40 million Series A led by EQT Ventures and Red River West to advance its mission to make space exploration affordable, sustainable, and open.

The company is building a sustainable, reusable space capsule called Nyx that can be used by private and public operators to fly cargo into space, resupply space stations, and in time, transport humans.

Funds raised by new and existing investors will be used to commercialize the maiden full-scale space capsule, finalize and launch the second capsule demonstrator, as well as expand the team.

Munich/Bordeaux, 1 st February 2023: European space tech company, The Exploration Company, has announced €40.5m in Series A funding to enable an era of affordable, sustainable, and open space exploration. The round was led by EQT Ventures and Red River West with participation from both new and existing investors including, Promos Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Vsquared, Omnes Capital, duly Fund, Partech, Habert Dassault Finance, Schlumberger, WMA, Possible Ventures, Rymdkapital and Sista Fund. With the fresh capital, The Exploration Company aims to commercialize its first full-scale space capsule (launch planned for 2026), finalize and test launch its second capsule demonstrator (launch planned for 2024), as well as expand the team.

 Huby, Co-Founder and CEO explains: "Within this decade, we will see humanity expand into space and building space stations, sometimes in partnership with the private sector, around the Earth and the Moon, paving the way for humans' sustainable settlement on the Moon and beyond. Currently, these transformational developments are led by a few players. We want to democratize space exploration by providing more sustainable and affordable capacities. Nyx, our spacecraft, is the first space capsule to be privately funded, the first to use green propellants and the first to open source its operating system. As such, we can enable nations, space & nonspace industries and individuals to participate in and contribute to the building of the new space world."

Founded in duly 2021 by Huby and a team of experienced aerospace engineers having worked on some of the biggest space programs (Orion-ESM, Ariane, etc.), The Exploration Company has built its first re-entry demonstrator in 9 months. The Exploration Company is now developing its second demonstrator that will fly into space and re-enter the atmosphere in a controlled manner, safely bringing back to Earth cargo payloads from clients — including several space agencies in Europe. The final vehicle, Nyx, will carry goods — and ultimately humans — into space to service space stations and pursue long range exploration missions. The vehicle can be reused multiple times and can be refuelled in orbit, expanding its potential mission length. It is also launcher agnostic meaning it can be launched by several rockets.

"With no European solution to carry goods and humans to the space stations around the Earth and the Moon, we are providing Europe with the capacity to participate in the exploration of the new space worlds, while creating a sustainable, affordable and alternative global player," added Huby.

Alongside Nyx, The Exploration Company is developing open interface software and hardware available in a SpaceStore, enabling customers to build on these open interfaces, and develop the platform that suits their needs.

With the new financing, The Exploration Company will commercialize its maiden capsule, Nyx Mission Odyssey, that will fly goods to space stations and come back to Earth. It will also finalize and fly its second demonstration capsule, Nyx Mission Possible, which will perform a controlled re-entry in the atmosphere — hence proving one of the most critical and enabling technologies to build reusable spacecrafts flying humans. Funding will also be allocated to growing the European team.

Red River West Founding Partner, Alfred Vericel, said: "l have known Héléne for many years and have been impressed by her capacity to anticipate strategic transformation, execute large space programs, and unleash the talents of her teams by her mission-driven, visionary, and empathetic energy. The mission of Red River West is to invest in European entrepreneurs who build global and impactful companies which we scale together in the US. We are proud to contribute to The Exploration Company's development."

EQT Ventures Partner, Ted Persson, said: "It has been nearly half a century since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Since then, the industry has focused on creating innovative launch devices to get satellites, and in some cases people, into space. Hélöne and the team have brought together a unique mix of world-class industry veterans and young space and software engineers to capitalize on a huge market opportunity and will ultimately enable Europe — and others — to participate in the discovery of the new space worlds, in a sustainable and cooperative manner."



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