With the new funds, Sierra Space intends to extend its flight activities to the space station and also focus on commercializing the lower earth orbit at scale for affordable operations.
Privately held commercial space company Sierra Space is reportedly about to close a funding round with $300 million at a total market valuation of about $5 billion. According to a report by media outlet CNBC, the Colorado-based aerospace company will announce the closure of the funding round before the end of this week, according to people familiar with the matter. Reportedly, the funding round was led by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (NYSE: MUFG), Kanematsu Corp (TYO: 8020), and Tokio Marine Holdings Inc (TYO: 8766).
Additionally, prior investors and insiders also participated in the funding round with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) acting as the deal advisor. With the funding secured, Sierra Space intends to focus on putting more flights into action through the Dream Chaser. With its unique huge design meant to enable commercialization of the space, the Dream Chaser incurs a 1.5g every time it re-enters the atmosphere from the space station before landing at NASA’s shuttle landing facility at Kennedy Space Center.
The company is on a mission to deliver payload cargo to the international space center for NASA, and also space crew to low earth orbit. Moreover, the Dream Chaser is a reusable vehicle with modern safety features to compete with other companies in the same market, including Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and Jeff Bezos Blue Origin.
Sierra Space and the Market Outlook
Sierra Space has conducted several funding rounds to widen its space exploration programs. For instance, the company closed a funding round in late 2021 with about $1.4 billion at a total valuation of about $4.5 billion. Notably, the company received crucial financial support from General Atlantic, Coatue, BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK), AE Industrial Partners, and Moore Strategic Ventures. As a result, the company has been able to scale existing programs and compete fairly with other top-rated privately held space exploration companies.
Earlier last week, Sierra Space announced the launch of its latest platform dubbed LIFE habitat (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) in close collaboration with ILC Dover.
Sierra Space is putting affordable in-space infrastructure within reach so every boardroom can now look to space for their next breakthrough products,” Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice noted. “Our revolutionary space station technology, combined with our highly reusable Dream Chaser spaceplane, significantly decreases the cost of in-space infrastructure and Is ushering in the commercialization of Low Earth Orbit.”
Meanwhile, the company significantly benefited from the contract awarded by the NASA Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) in 2016. Furthermore, the Dream Chaser was expected to deliver a minimum of seven unscrewed cargo services to and from the international space station.