Australian superannuation funds HESTA, Hostplus, and NGS Super have backed the latest capital raising for Gold Coast rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies in good news for high-tech manufacturing.
The funds joined Australian and global venture capital firms pledging $61 million to Gilmour in what is the biggest capital raising ever by an Australian space business.
The Series C round also included US-based Fine Structure Ventures, and Australian VCs Blackbird and CSIRO’s Main Sequence.
Gilmour has now raised a total of $87 million from investors.
CEO Adam Gilmour said: “It’s fantastic to see the global support for our mission to build and launch lower cost rockets and satellites to orbit.
“This new investment will give us runway to launch our first orbital rocket in 2022.”
Gilmour said the funds would help develop multiple Eris vehicles, growing employment from 70 to 120 in the next 12 months.
“(It) builds our sovereign space manufacturing capability for rockets and satellites, and facilitates a commercial spaceport in Queensland, where we hope to launch the world’s first hybrid rocket to space.”
Fine Structure Ventures’ Brett Rome said the deal was the company’s first in Australia.
“The team at Gilmour is building the leading sovereign launch company in Australia, and utilising their innovative hybrid rocket engine to efficiently address the growing global demand for putting satellites into orbit.”
Since launching its first hybrid rocket in mid 2016, Gilmour Space has become a leader in orbital-class hybrid propulsion technologies that use safer and lower cost fuels than traditional chemical propulsion rockets.
The company has also secured launch contracts with Australian and international customers including US-based Momentus, Sydney-based Space Machines Company, and South Australia’s Fleet Space Technologies.
Gilmour leads a growing network of 300 partners and suppliers in Australia.
Blackbird Ventures’ Rick Baker said: “It’s been amazing to see what Gilmour Space has achieved so far in proving that they can build a reliable hybrid rocket engine capable of powering the next generation of launch vehicles.”
HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said: “This is a great example of how we’re investing to support visionary businesses take that next step in their growth and development.
“Gilmour Space is going where no Australian business has gone before, which can open up exciting new opportunities for high-tech industries and jobs in Australia, while helping to grow our members’ retirement savings.”
Hostplus CEO, David Elia, said his fund’s investment strategy is long-term focused.
Picture: Gilmour Space Technologies
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