Rocket propulsion developer Ursa Major has announced that it has closed $138 million in its Series D and D-1 funding rounds. The investments were led by Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse and include RTX Ventures, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Exor Ventures, Mack & Co, LLC, XN and other institutional shareholders.
The investments were led by Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse. Other significant investors include RTX Ventures, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Exor Ventures, Mack & Co, LLC, XN and other institutional shareholders. The Series D round was originally closed earlier this year, but due to strong interest, an additional Series D-1 round was initiated.
With this capital increase, Ursa Major plans to further develop its innovative solid rocket motor (SRM) program called Lynx, expand production capacity and advance multiple propulsion programs.
“In the year since our last funding round, Ursa Major has secured significant commercial and government customers, delivered dozens of flight-ready engines, introduced new engine concepts, and worked to address critical gaps in our nation’s defense. This includes developing Lynx, a line of solid rocket motors that can deliver urgently needed capabilities,” said Ursa Major CEO and founder Joe Laurienti. “This investment will support scaling our production capacity to meet strong market demand, as well as continued technology innovation for our medium- and heavy-weight propulsion systems.”
Since the last funding round, Ursa Major has delivered several aircraft engines, introduced new engine concepts and addressed key gaps in national defense. Innovations include Draper, a new stockpileable liquid engine for defense against hypersonic weapons, and Lynx, a new solution for the design and manufacture of solid rocket motors for tactical applications.
The company also redesigned and hot-tested the 50,000-pound thrust Ripley engine, increased production of the 5,000-pound thrust Hadley engine to a rate of one per week, and qualified Hadley as the world’s first and only rocket engine for space launch, space insertion and hypersonic missions.
“Ursa Major propulsion systems fill a critical gap in the defense industrial base today,” said Greg Reichow, Partner at Eclipse and former Vice President of Production at Tesla. “For the U.S. and its allies, the ability to deter threats will depend on our ability to produce innovative solutions utilizing modern manufacturing methods that are not dependent on fragmented supply chains. Ursa Major’s team possesses the technical prowess to deliver the high production rates, low cost, and advanced technology needed to help maintain national security.”
Ursa Major’s approach, which focuses exclusively on propulsion systems, represents a significant shift in the traditionally vertically integrated launch industry. The company’s versatile rocket motors can be used for a variety of Department of Defense and non-defense missions. In addition, Ursa Major, with its experience in manufacturing liquid rocket motors for space launch, now also offers innovative solutions for solid rocket motor manufacturing by utilizing 3D printing technologies to produce more powerful motors faster and at lower cost.