Launcher has advised that the company has raised $11.7 million in a Series-A round of funding, well above the firm’s $7 million goal, as the company seeks to accelerate the development of its first orbital vehicle.
In an interview, Launcher founder Max Haot said the company remains on track to debut the smallsat Launcher Light rocket in 2024. However, to meet this goal, the company needs to grow significantly… now.
This is a big change for Launcher — during its first four years, during which the company focused on the development of a first-stage rocket engine, the company had just a handful of employees and expended about $1.5 million per year.
However, Haot said the company will need to spend about $10 million a year to reach orbit by 2024 with Launcher Light. The company currently has about 30 employees in the United States and at the firm’s research and development subsidiary in the Ukraine and it plans to scale up to about 70 employees by the end of this year.
Haot said the company will probably need to reach about 150 employees by first orbital flight. He hopes to do so with a total budget of $50 million, supported by an additional round of funding expected to be completed by early next year. Reaching orbit with a budget of $50 million would be about half that expended by Rocket Lab and still less than other small launch competitors.
Article source: Ars Technica, June 2021