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Slingshot Aerospace completes $40.8 million funding round

The oversubscribed round was led by Sway Ventures
It is sometimes said that if we could cooperate with Russia in space at the height of the Cold War, we can certainly cooperate with China now. This is wildly optimistic, and it is not even clear if cooperation is in our national interest.

WASHINGTON — Slingshot Aerospace, a space data analytics company, announced Dec. 6 it has raised $40.8 million in a Series A2 funding round. 

The oversubscribed round was led by Sway Ventures and included participation from C16 Ventures, ATX Venture Partners, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Draper Associates. Horizon Technology Finance separately provided a venture loan, Slingshot said.

“The massive growth in space operations carries a significant risk as well as an opportunity,” said Najib Khouri-Haddad, general partner of Sway Ventures. 

Founded in 2017, Slingshot is based in El Segundo, California; and Austin, Texas. The new funding will help the company develop new products and also finance recent acquisitions. Slingshot in August acquired Numerica’s Space Division, a Colorado-based company that operates a global network of ground-based telescopes to track space objects; and Seradata, a space data analysis firm based in the United Kingdom. 

One of the company’s products is a space traffic control software tool used by satellite operators to coordinate satellite maneuvers and communicate with other operators to avert collisions.  

Under a contract with the U.S. Space Force, the company developed a space digital twin — a virtual space environment to train military operators.

“Our successful funding round during a global economic downturn is validation that investors understand the urgent need for safe and sustainable spaceflight operations.” said Melanie Stricklan, Slingshot’s co-founder and CEO.

The company to date has raised $82.5 million, she said. 

The geopolitical unrest in the world today is driving up defense budgets, including space programs, Stricklan told SpaceNews. “Investors’ interest in space hasn’t wavered with the economic downturn.”

Slingshot sees opportunities to provide space domain awareness services to the U.S. Space Force which recently established a new office focused on acquiring commercial services. 

DoD and Congress, said Stricklan, are “starting to really understand the technologies that are commercially viable, that the government doesn’t have to build those technologies.”

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly...