Aerospacelab, a European startup established in 2018, has employees working in Belgium, Switzerland and France. Credit: Aerospacelab

SAN FRANCISCO – Aerospacelab raised 40 million euros ($45.5 million) in a funding round led by Airbus Ventures and XAnge, a European venture capital firm based in Paris and Munich.

Additional investors in the Belgian startup, which has raised 60 million euros since it was founded in 2018, include BNP Paribas Private Equity, Sambrinvest, a Belgian venture capital firm, and SRIW, the investment arm of Belgium’s Wallonia region.

“2021 was a fantastic year for Aerospacelab, marking the launch of our first satellite and demonstrating the efficacy of our technology in space,” Benoît Deper, Aerospacelab founder and CEO, said in a statement. Deper added that the firm was eager to extend its relationship with XAnge, which led Aerospacelabs’ first funding round, and to earn the backing of Airbus Ventures.

Aerospacelab is vertically integrated company that designs, manufactures, tests and operates satellites and sensors.

Aerospacelab is focused on “true sensor fusion,” meaning “the ability to operate and task different satellite assets (like radar and optical, for instance) simultaneously to get the full understanding of what’s going on,” Deper told SpaceNews by email. “I’ve never seen it anywhere else.”

The latest funding round will help Aerospacelab “ramp up satellite production capacity, deploy multiple constellations to establish an intra-daily monitoring of the Earth’s surface and implement geospatial data fusion analytics capabilities,” according to the firm’s Feb. 16 news release.

“Aerospacelab is a prime example of how European talents can realize important space projects in Europe,” Josef Aschbacher, European Space Agency director general, said in a statement.

Géraldine Naja, as ESA commercialisation, industry and procurement director, said in a statement, “We warmly congratulate Aerospacelab on its latest fundraising and fully expect to seek continued inspiration and advice from Benoît and the team as they scale.”

Mat Costes, Airbus Ventures partner, said in a statement that Aerospacelab earned Airbus Ventures’ backing by “demonstrating how they can substantially improve decision-making processes across a robust sequence of varied sectors and are uniquely positioned to provide geospatial intelligence to private companies and governments alike.”

Silicon Valley-based Airbus Ventures also is backing Australian startup Q-Ctrl; CesiumAstro, a phased array communications specialist; geospatial intelligence startup Atlas AI; internet-of-things company Astrocast; launch vehicle developer Isar Aerospace; and propulsion startup Morpheus Space.

“We have followed Aerospacelab since its very first steps,” XAnge partner Guilhem de Vregille said in a statement. “Today, we are especially pleased to be co-leading the second round with Airbus Ventures.”

SRIW is proud of Aerospacelab’s “achievements to date and happy to further support its exciting industrial and technological roadmap within this strategic sector,”  Nicolas Dhaene, SRIW investment manager, said in a statement.

Aerospacelab worked with Spaceflight Inc. to send its first satellite, a 12-unit cubesat technology demonstration called Arthur, into orbit June 30 on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Transporter-2 mission.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...