Gilmour Space, founded in 2012, is developing a three-stage small satellite launch vehicle called Eris. Credit: Gilmour Space

SAN FRANCISCO – Australian startup Gilmour Space Technologies has raised $55 million Australian dollars ($36 million) in a Series D funding round announced Feb. 19.

The funding supports the small launch vehicle startup’s campaign to manufacture, test and begin launching rockets and satellites from the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland.

Gilmour Space, founded in 2012, is developing a three-stage rocket called Eris. The first Eris test flight is expected “in the coming months, pending launch approvals from the Australian Space Agency,” according to the Gilmour Space news release.

A second test flight is expected later this year and commercial launches are scheduled to begin in 2025.

Queensland Investment Corporation led the investment round. Additional investors include Blackbird, Main Sequence, HostPlus and Australian pension fund HESTA.

Adam Gilmour, Gilmour Space co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that the company was fortunate to have the backing of high-caliber investors.

Patrick Christiansen, private equity investment director for Queensland Investment Corp., said in a statement, “Gilmour’s ability to compete as a full-stack launch services provider will be a strong value proposition for an underserviced segment of the global space market.” Christiansen also said, “Gilmour’s ability to offer customers a turnkey solution with both launch services and a satellite bus” was “a key competitive advantage.”

Gilmour Space, based near Brisbane, Australia, raised about $46 million in a Series C round in 2021.

The Series D funding “will allow Gilmour to attempt multiple launches and to become the first Australian-built rocket to get to orbit,” Rick Baker, Blackbird co-founding partner, said in a statement. “The achievements of the team in taking that technology through years of testing and iteration are coming to a head now. “

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...