Firefly owner, Max Polyakov, acquires Dragonfly – collaboration on small satellites launch is planned

The Ukrainian entrepreneur Max Polyakov has acquired the South African manufacturer of small satellites Dragonfly Aerospace, Reuters reports.

  • The deal gives Polyakov a foothold in the fast-growing but fiercely competitive small-satellite technology market. The plan is to build up to 48 custom satellites annually. Currently, the company is developing satellite cameras for Earth Observing Systems Data Analytics (EOS), Polyakov’s another satellite analytics company.
  • The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
  • The plan is to open production sites in the US and Europe. Now Firefly has a large R&D center in Dnipro, but whether a separate platform for Dragonfly Aerospace will appear is still unknown. Firefly Aerospace does not provide any comments.
  • Dragonfly will work in partnership with Firefly: Dragonfly’s satellites will be launched on Firefly’s Alpha rocket (its first launch is planned to take place before the end of June). This will also be a source of profit for Firefly and provide the company with a steady stream of orders.
  • “It allows us to bring everything in-house,” commented Max Polyakov. Earlier this month, Polyakov said he was building a vertically integrated space business. In addition to Firefly Aerospace and EOS Data Analytics, he already includes electric propulsion systems maker SETS and orbital transfer vehicle provider D-Orbit. And now Dragonfly has joined them.
  • Firefly, New Zealand’s startup Rocket Lab, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit are leaders in a long list of small-launch providers making money from delivering small satellites. Firefly also plans to raise $350 million in the next 12 months.