Start-up Space Blasts Off

Bryce Space and Technology has produced a new report, Start-up Space: Update on Investment in Commercial Space Ventures.

Below is the executive summary. You can also download the full report.

Executive Summary

The Start-Up Space series examines space investment in the 21st century and analyzes investment trends, focusing on investors in new companies that have acquired private financing. Space is continuing to attract increased attention in Silicon Valley and in investment communities world-wide. Space ventures now appeal to investors because new, lower-cost systems are envisioned to follow the path terrestrial tech has profitably traveled: dropping system costs and massively increasing user bases for new products, especially new data products. Large valuations and exits are demonstrating the potential for high returns.
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Accion Systems, York Space Systems to Develop Standardized Propulsion System

BOSTON, August 7, 2017 (Accion Systems PR) — Accion Systems and York Space Systems announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a standardized propulsion system for future use with York Space Systems’ spacecraft platform.  As part of the intended partnership, Accion Systems will become a preferred provider of standardized propulsion systems, providing York’s customers with state-of-the-art ion engine systems for their spacecraft missions.

“We are thrilled to be working with York Space Systems, one of the most exciting manufacturers of satellites today,” said Natalya Bailey, CEO of Accion Systems.  “By leveraging our scalable electric propulsion systems, York’s customers will be able to expand the capabilities and extend the life of each mission, helping create a new standard for what’s achievable in commercial and government space.”

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A Closer Look at Which Space Companies U.S. VC’s are Investing in

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s new publication, “Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit,” consists of a series of papers that examines a number of important policy questions that will be of rising importance as NASA transitions human spaceflight in LEO to the private sector.

One of the papers, “Venture Capital Activity in the Low-Earth Orbit Sector,”
has detailed information on what U.S. venture capitalists have invested in. Key excerpts from the paper follow.
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Accion Systems Receives $7.5 Million in Series A Funding

Accion_Systems_logoAccion Systems has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding to expand its development and production of innovative propulsion systems for small satellites. The Series A round was led by Shasta Ventures with partners Founder Collective, RRE Ventures and Slow Ventures, according to CrunchBase.

Accion says that its “modular, customizable propulsion systems are some of the first that can turn affordable satellites into capable ones. Non-volatile, non-explosive propellants mean systems qualify for shared launches. Bolt-on modules simplify and shorten satellite development and integration.”

Accion Systems received $2 million in seed funding in January 2015. The round was led by FF Science and Founders Fund with seven other partners.

The MIT-spinout also announced in June 2015 that it has been awarded a $3 million Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) contract from the Department of Defense.

“The RIF program was established to facilitate the rapid insertion of innovative technologies into military systems,” the company said in a press release. “Through this effort, Accion will advance its next-generation electric propulsion system.”

Accion Wins $3 Million Defense Contract for Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion

Accion_Systems_logoSOMERVILLE, Mass., June 17, 2015 (Accion PR) — Accion Systems Inc. today announced it has been awarded a $3MM Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) contract from the Department of Defense. The RIF program was established to facilitate the rapid insertion of innovative technologies into military systems. Through this effort, Accion will advance its next-generation electric propulsion system.

Accion has demonstrated smaller products for the increasingly popular CubeSat form factor since raising its seed round in December of 2014 and is also under contract to investigate novel methods for higher-thrust systems using the same hardware.

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