HARWELL, England (OSS PR) — Oxford Space Systems (OSS) today announces it has secured £6.7 million [$8.9 million] in funding from a syndicate of investors including IQ Capital, Longwall Ventures, Foresight Williams, OTIF, Midven and Wren. The current round, led by Longwall Ventures, brings the total amount raised in external funding to £10m since OSS’ launch in late 2013.
IQ Capital, Longwall Ventures, Foresight Williams, Midven and Wren Capital invest in the leading innovator of deployable space antennas and structures for the new space age
The recent investment makes OSS the most highly funded UK start-up, upstream space technology business.(1). The funding will enable the accelerated development of OSS’s technology – pioneering the development of a new generation of deployable antennas and structures that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than currently available. OSS achieves this by combining its new, proprietary materials – that are lighter than those traditionally used in space technology – with traditional flight proven materials, often using origami engineering techniques to reduce stowage volume.
In addition, the new funding will now enable OSS to move into its new, custom built headquarters at the Harwell Space Cluster, which provides OSS the largest clean room on campus for the assembly of flight hardware. HRH The Duke of York will open the new HQ on 14th June 2018 as part of the ‘New Space Showcase’. The event celebrates pioneering companies growing within the Harwell Space Cluster, a global space hub, that is driving innovation in upstream and downstream technologies. It will profile some of OSS’ hardware and technologies, alongside four other New Space companies seeing significant growth in this market.
Mike Lawton, CEO and Founder, OSS said: “This is an exciting time for OSS. Closing the latest round and moving to our own facility at the Harwell Space Cluster puts us in an excellent position to address the global opportunities we’re being approached with.
“I launched the company after realising that deployable antennas and structures are often a neglected area of a spacecraft – an area ripe for innovation. With OSS, we’re creating a step change by using innovative materials and a new approach to volume product build – and this investment is as much a recognition of our successes in delivering on this vision to date.
“Commercial space is a large and rapidly growing market that will be worth trillions of dollars over the next decade. In many ways, the space industry is at a similar stage today as the internet was in the mid-1990s. This is a unique moment in history to take part in an exciting and rapidly growing sector.”
Ed Stacey, Partner, IQ Capital said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with OSS as the company has moved from strength to strength over the past few years. Having proven the value and reliability of its technology in space flight, and having made the transition from start-up to scale-up with this latest round of funding, OSS is now able to respond to the growing global demand for deployable space structures. ”
David Denny, Partner, Longwall Ventures, lead investor in OSS said: “We are delighted to see what the OSS team have achieved since Longwall first invested in 2013. We have valued working with IQ Capital along with the other major investors in this and earlier funding rounds. We have also appreciated support for OSS from various players including the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK, ESA, the Satellite Applications Catapult, RAL Space and their various customers who include the major satellite builders across North America and Europe.”
The company will raise up to an additional £1.3m in phase 2 of the current round which it intends to keep open until the end of September 2018.
(1)The space industry is split into two areas – “upstream”, which is focused on the hardware and satellites sent into space and “downstream”, which uses the data from satellites to provide a vast range of applications and services (e.g. GPS, weather forecasting, satellite TV, internet, telephony etc). The downstream industry in the UK is approximately five times larger in value than the upstream industry, although upstream is rapidly growing. OSS is exclusively an upstream, space hardware business, owned and operated in the UK.