German Rocket Factory challenges SpaceX

Bremen/Augsburg – At the Capital Market Day of space technology group OHB SE (Prime Standard, ISIN DE0005936124), Augsburg-based start-up Rocket Factory announced that it will boost the growth of the microlauncher company with a financing round. The current shareholders of Rocket Factory are OHB SE, Apollo Capital Partners, other founders as well as the company’s management, the employees and private investors. The aim of the financing round is to raise EUR 25 million in fresh capital.

Rocket Factory develops microlaunchers for the cost-effective transport of small satellites into low-Earth orbits. The start-up is determined to grow strongly in the next few years and quickly conquer market shares: “We want to build the best and cheapest rockets and microlaunchers. With freight costs of EUR 3 million per launch, we will be able to offer by far the cheapest launch service in the world,” said Hans Steininger, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board and founding investor of Rocket Factory and owner of Apollo Capital Partners, Munich.

In the meantime, the start-up has begun building prototypes of its engine. Small and inexpensive launch vehicles play a key role in the commercial use of space by private service providers. “New Space” is opening up a billion-dollar market that is attracting more and more investors. Venture capital funds worldwide invested a record $15.7 billion in 252 space companies in 2020, of which $9.4 billion went to US companies*.

Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB SE, said: “We do not want to leave this lucrative market to US companies. That is why we have set up the Rocket Factory with two young space enthusiasts and given the new company a major boost in the form of expertise and capital. We will be able to maximise the cost advantages of series production because we will be building rockets just like cars. Due to the very high demand for investment opportunities in this promising market, we are now opening up the possibility for further selected investors to participate in the growth of the Rocket Factory.”

Rocket Factory’s launcher combines three significant competitive advantages: Unbeatable pricing, precise in-orbit delivery through a novel orbital stage and superior engine technology.

“With the staged combustion technology, we are a technological trendsetter because it is more powerful, more efficient and cleaner than most launch vehicles currently on the market,” said Dr. Stefan Brieschenk, Board Member and Chief Operations Officer at Rocket Factory.

Jörn Spurmann, Board Member and Chief Commercial Officer at Rocket Factory, added: “We offer a delivery service for the last mile. Unlike many others, we deliver satellites to different orbits with pinpoint accuracy using our unique orbital stage. This creates cost advantages. And because we also produce at the lowest cost, we create unrivalled value for money.”

About RFA

Rocket Factory was founded in 2018 by Jörn Spurmann and Stefan Brieschenk, investor Hans Steininger and German satellite company OHB SE. The goal of the start-up is to develop a launch vehicle prototype by the end of 2022, which will lift satellites into low-Earth orbit on a weekly basis at unrivalled prices. Rocket Factory aims for exponential growth in the booming New Space market. The start-up’s goal is to combine highest system performances with ultra-low cost manufacturing and design principles.

Rocket Factory will deliver satellites precisely into orbit with a unique orbital transfer vehicle, thinking space transportation from the satellite and customer point of view. The launcher will offer an end-toend solution with its last mile delivery service. The launch vehicle combines three key competitive advantages: ultra-low-cost architecture, precise in-orbit delivery and superior propulsion technology.

The start-up has established itself in Augsburg and currently has a team of 85 (as of February 2021) New Space veterans from 25 different nationalities, with a demonstrated track-record established in international launch vehicle development projects.