Max Polyakov’s Firefly Aerospace raises nearly $200M at $1B+ valuation
Firefly Aerospace today announced the successful completion of its Series A financing. As the company told AIN.UA, it raised almost $200 million, and its total value far exceeded the $1 billion.
Interest in the Series A round far exceeded the $75 million equity being offered. In an effort to satisfy the overwhelming demand in the Series A round, Firefly’s seed investor, Noosphere Ventures, sold approximately $100 million of its holdings of Firefly equity to certain Series A participants and other investors through secondary transactions. Following the forthcoming launch of its flagship Alpha small launch vehicle, Firefly intends to raise an additional $300 million later in 2021 to fund its ambitious growth plans through 2025.
The round was led by DADA Holdings, with participation by Astera Institute, Canon Ball LLC, Reuben Brothers Limited, SMS Capital Investment LLC, Raven One Ventures, The XBTO Ventures and other investors. The Series A capital raise team was led by Darren Ma, Firefly CFO. Investor outreach was led by Eric Salwan, Firefly Co-founder and Director of Commercial Business Development. Jed McCaleb, representing Astera Institute, will join Firefly’s Board of Directors.
Firefly’s CEO Dr. Tom Markusic stated, “It is gratifying to see such strong investor interest that far exceeded our near-term funding goal of $75M. Firefly is excited to welcome our new partners, prior to our inaugural launch of Alpha. Post launch we will embark on a second, larger round, that will enable Firefly to execute fully its business plan of new spacecraft and launch vehicle development. With our recent major contract wins and the arrival of new, strong financial partners, 2021 is proving to be a breakout year for Firefly.”
Firefly has previously announced multiple commercial and civil Alpha launch contracts with customers including NASA and General Atomics. Firefly was recently awarded a $93.3 million NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract to deliver 10 science payloads to the surface of the Moon in 2023 using its Blue Ghost lunar lander. Firefly is completing preparations for the inaugural launch of its Alpha launch vehicle from Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).
“Noosphere is proud to have supported the early development of Firefly Aerospace and the Alpha launch vehicle. As Firefly transitions into commercial service and embarks on additional ambitious programs such as lunar payload delivery, the time is right to expand the Firefly investor base. We are delighted that Firefly has succeeded in attracting new investors that share Firefly’s long-term vision of ‘Making Space for Everyone’.”
Dr. Max Polyakov, founder of Noosphere Ventures, the largest investor in Firefly Aerospace
Ryan Boland, CIO DADA Holdings & CEO D’Addario Family Office, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with such an exciting and pioneering organization in Firefly. The first-class management team, best in class technology, and business model providing end-to-end support of the space industry led us to the conclusion that this investment was the appropriate way to capture the long-term trends supporting the space economy.”
Jed McCaleb, Founder of Astera Institute, said, “Space exploration is essential to ensuring our survival beyond our fragile planet. Firefly is engineering the next-generation infrastructure needed for a variety of unprecedented space activities. Its focus on cost and practical considerations ensures these developments will become reality sooner rather than later. Firefly’s boldness, ingenuity, and impatience for the future are the qualities The Astera Institute was created to support.”