Apex Secures $95M Funding to Expand Satellite Bus Operations

Apex Secures $95M

Following a successful inaugural flight, Apex, a satellite manufacturing company, has secured $95 million in funding to scale its operations.

The Los Angeles-based firm launched its first spacecraft, the Aries model, in March and successfully completed the mission. With this achievement under its belt, Apex is now focused on expansion.

The company plans to ramp up production of the Aries model and invest in the development of the Nova spacecraft, which is approximately twice the size of Aries. Ian Cinnamon, CEO and co-founder of Apex, told TechCrunch that the company aims to produce five Aries units this year.

Apex was founded to address the bottleneck in the space industry caused by the complex and lengthy process of custom-engineering satellite buses. Co-founders Cinnamon and Maximilian Benassi aim to standardize and commercialize satellite buses, making it easier for companies to send payloads into orbit.

The reduction in launch costs, thanks to SpaceX Falcon 9 ride-share missions, has increased demand for space access. This market shift has created an opportunity for standardized, productized spacecraft. Customers now pay the same for a ride to orbit up to a certain volume size. Cinnamon and Benassi realized that by over-engineering spacecraft slightly, they could offer customers a cost-effective solution without additional launch fees.

Cinnamon highlighted the company’s strong economic foundation due to its focus on productization. “We can clearly outline the selling price, unit economics, and margin for each satellite bus we’ve sold or are in the process of selling,” he said. “We’re transparent with our customers about not having the lowest prices on the market, but we sometimes charge more for rapid delivery.”

This transparency has been appealing to investors. “Investors still want to invest in businesses where they can see the fundamentals clearly,” Cinnamon said.

Apex’s strategy benefits from repeat customers who often seek to purchase multiple satellites over time to build constellations.

Currently, nearly fifty people work for Apex, with plans to double its workforce by year-end.

The funding round was led by early investors XYZ Venture Capital and CRV. New investors included Upfront, 8VC, Toyota Ventures, Point72 Ventures, Mirae Asset Capital, Outsiders Fund, and GSBackers. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Shield Capital, J2 Ventures, Ravelin, Robinhood co-founder Baiju Bhatt, and Avalon Capital Group also participated.

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