Houston-based aerospace firm Axiom Space, which specializes in spaceflight and space asset development, raised a $130 million Series B round, the company announced Feb. 16. The round was led by C5 Capital and saw participation from TQS Advisors, Declaration Partners, Moelis Dynasty Investments, The Venture Collective, Aidenlair Capital, Hemisphere Ventures, Starbridge Venture Capital and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Suffredini, president and CEO of Axiom Space and the former program director for the International Space Station, declined to disclose the company’s valuation to CNBC, but said it was “well past the point” of reaching unicorn status — a coveted title given to private firms with valuations of over $1 billion. That would make Axiom Space one of the 10 most valuable private space companies in the nation, per CNBC.
Axiom said it plans to use the new financing to further construction of the company’s privately developed space station and to accelerate its headcount growth. The company is developing Axiom Station, the world’s first free-flying, internationally available private space station that will serve as a hub for research manufacturing and commerce in low Earth orbit. Last month, NASA selected Axiom to attach is own space station modules to the ISS as early as 2024. Rob Meyerson, operating partner at London-based C5 Capital, will join Axiom’s board in connection with the firm’s investment.
“Axiom Space is a force in the space sector, and it will become a centerpiece of the C5 Capital portfolio and enhance our vision for a secure global future,” Meyerson said. “The Axiom Station will be the infrastructure upon which we will build many new businesses in space, and it will serve as the foundation for future exploration missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.”
Late last year, Axiom unveiled plans to construct a new 14-acre headquarters campus at the Houston Spaceport, located near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake area. Axiom Space’s headquarters campus will be a 322,000-square-foot facility, designed to accommodate Axiom Station modules, terminal building space to house private astronauts, operations, engineering and other requirements. In late January, Axiom revealed a group of citizens that will crew the world’s first private mission to the ISS. The proposed mission will consist of Axiom Vice President Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut, as commander; activist investor Larry Connor as pilot; Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy; and Israeli investor and philanthropist Eytan Stibbe. The mission is subject to approval from NASA and its international partners, Axiom said. Axiom Space was founded in 2016.