Updated 8:30 a.m. Eastern with company comment on launch plans.

WASHINGTON — European small launch vehicle developer Isar Aerospace has raised more than 65 million euros ($70 million) in an extension of an earlier round that includes participation from a new NATO-backed fund.

Isar Aerospace announced June 20 the extension of the Series C round it raised in March 2023. The new funding brings the total value of the round to more than 220 million euros. The company has raised more than 400 million euros to date.

Among the participants in the round is the NATO Innovation Fund, a new venture fund backed by 24 of NATO’s 32 member states that plans to invest more than one billion euros in “deep tech” companies working on space as well as hypersonic systems, artificial intelligence and biotech, among other fields.

“Access to space is critical to the technological sovereignty of Europe and the U.K.,” said Andrea Traversone, managing partner of the NATO Innovation Fund, in a statement. “Space technologies like Isar’s hold immense promise and will enable us to build a secure and prosperous future for generations to come.”

Traversone added that, besides the investment, the fund would help Isar with “adoption pathways across government and commercial opportunities.”

The NATO Innovation Fund announced its first investments June 18 that included Space Forge, a U.K. startup working on space manufacturing technologies. The fund did not disclose how much it invested in either Isar Aerospace or Space Forge.

“The investment by the NATO Innovation Fund in Isar Aerospace is a strong sign of confidence in our approach and underlines the fundamental role of space technologies for our economies and societies,” Daniel Metzler, chief executive of Isar Aerospace, said in a statement. “Even more, it shows that European governments need to promote and leverage private innovation and products to keep up globally.”

Isar Aerospace said the funding round extension included other new investors European family office G3T as well as 10x Group, Besant Capital, Finadvice Med HOLDINGS and LP&E. Existing investors Lakestar, Earlybird, Airbus Ventures, Bayern Kapital and UVC Partners also participated.

The company said the additional funding will go towards efforts to scale up production of its Spectrum small launch vehicle It announced May 2 plans to develop a new headquarters in the Munich suburb of Vaterstetten, Germany. That will include a factory capable of producing up to 40 Spectrum rockets a year.

The company has yet to attempt a first launch of Spectrum. At the Satellite 2024 conference in March, a company executive said that inaugural launch was planned for this summer, but the company has not provided more recent updates about its launch plans.

“Currently, we are waiting for the permits to begin with the stage testing of our first and second stage, which will verify that the systems meet all necessary requirements for flight,” a company spokesperson told SpaceNews. “Depending on the outcome of these tests, we will approach our first test flight as soon as possible.”

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...