Sierra Space announces $1.4 billion investment round

The funding will accelerate development of the company’s Dream Chaser Spaceplane, the world’s only orbital commercial spaceplane.

The funding will accelerate development of the company’s Dream Chaser Spaceplane, the world’s only orbital commercial spaceplane. Photo: Sierra Space

Sierra Space, a commercial space company that launched in June under umbrella of Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, announced recently a $1.4 billion Series A investment of primary capital.

It marks the first capital raise for the company and the second-largest private capital raise globally in the aerospace and defense sector ever reported, according to a Nov. 19 press release.

The funding puts the valuation of Sierra Space — which has 1,100 employees, more than 500 missions and over 30 years of space flight heritage — at $4.5 billion.

“Sierra Space aims to build the future of space transportation, commercial space destinations and infrastructure, and enabling technologies that will help to build a vibrant, growing commercial space economy,” according to the release. “As the LEO (low-Earth orbit) economy reaches a critical inflection point — driven by the convergence of the increasing commercialization of space, renewed public interest and defense considerations — Sierra Space is developing foundational infrastructure to support this growing ecosystem.

“By opening up affordable access to space, Sierra Space hopes to enable existing businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and governments to create exciting breakthroughs that can empower humanity to begin new civilizations in space and benefit life on Earth.”

According to past reports, the company’s “space-as-a-service” business model is designed to leverage cutting-edge technologies within the fast-growing new space economy, which is projected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2030.

“Sierra Space is building and delivering the future of space transportation, destinations and infrastructure,” company co-founder Eren Ozmen, chairwoman and co-owner of Sierra Nevada Corporation, 
said in a June statement. “It’s truly exciting to be at the forefront of innovations in space, blazing a new path to deliver services in space that will make space more accessible for all.”

According to the Nov. 19 release, the Series A funding round was led by General Atlantic, Coatue and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners, AE Industrial Partners, and “various strategic family offices.”

Among other endeavors, the funding will accelerate development of the company’s Dream Chaser Spaceplane, the world’s only orbital commercial spaceplane.

“Dream Chaser is designed to be a reusable orbital spaceplane, uniquely capable of a smooth 1.5 low-g re-entry and able to land on commercial runways virtually anywhere on Earth,” according to the release. “Dream Chaser is in advanced-stage development under a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to perform cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station. Dream Chaser has three variants leveraging flexible design and performance versatility to address cargo, crewed or national security space requirements across domestic and international commercial, civil government and defense customer segments.”

The $1.4 billion investment will also help support development of Sierra Space’s LIFE (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) Habitat, a modular, three-story commercial habitation, business and science platform.

“We are building the next generation of space transportation systems and in-space infrastructures and destinations that will enable humanity to build and sustain thriving civilizations beyond Earth,” Tom Vice, CEO of Sierra Space, said in a statement. “Equally as important, Sierra Space is building the next platform for business. Space provides a unique environment that will enable new breakthroughs in critical areas such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, fiber optics and energy that will directly enhance our life on Earth.”

Eren Ozmen and her husband, Fatih — co-owner of Sierra Nevada Corporation, majority owner of Sierra Space — both serve on the Sierra Space board.

“We have worked hard for years to nurture the Sierra Space business from its genesis in 2008 to today, where it has significantly grown to hold a very unique and strategic position in the rapidly expanding commercial space sector,” Fatih Ozmen said in a Nov. 19 statement. “Sierra Space now has the right scale, and with its leading-edge technologies and turnkey capabilities is poised to significantly accelerate growth with this investment. Eren and I are excited to welcome this established and experienced team of investors as our new partners at this inflection point for Sierra Space.

“Together, we have a game-changing strategy and resources that position the company to lead the new space race and seize the growing market in the new space economy.”


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