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Apex secures $95M in Series B Funding to Scale Satellite Bus Production
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Apex secures $95M in Series B Funding to Scale Satellite Bus Production
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jun 13, 2024

Apex, a Los Angeles-based spacecraft manufacturing company, announced its $95 million Series B funding round. The round was led by XYZ Venture Capital and co-led by CRV, with participation from new investors Upfront, 8VC, Toyota Ventures, Point72 Ventures, Mirae Asset Capital, Outsiders Fund, GSBackers, and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Shield Capital, J2 Ventures, Ravelin, Baiju Bhatt, and Avalon Capital Group.

As the only producer of productized satellite buses, Apex helps customers advance space capabilities quickly. Traditional buses are custom-built for each spacecraft, adding significant time to the process. Apex's productized platform allows faster access to space without the need for a bespoke bus for every launch. This funding will enable increased production to meet growing demand, following the successful launch of Apex's first bus in March and a rise in customer interest.

"The West cannot achieve the capabilities we need in space at the necessary scale and speed without a productized approach to powering and supporting satellites," said Apex CEO and founder, Ian Cinnamon. "Coming on the heels of our first launch and numerous bus sales to commercial, government, and international customers, this fundraise is a vote of confidence in Apex's vision and success. This new funding will help us both expand our family of productized satellite buses and produce them at industry-leading scale. Today's aerospace and defense industries are hungry for solutions they can deploy in mass, and we're here and ready to meet their needs."

The funding round represents a significant convergence of blue-chip institutional investors known for backing critical defense and public sector technology companies.

"At XYZ, we're constantly looking at the trends shaping defense, public sector, and aerospace needs, and it was clear to us that Apex was set up to serve truly momentous demand," said Ross Fubini, Managing Partner of XYZ Venture Capital, known for backing Anduril. "Without the satellite-building capabilities Apex brings to the market, it would be impossible for this country to stay ahead of its security and commercial space goals. That's why we've been so bullish from the earliest stage."

Satellite buses are essential components of any spacecraft, allowing it to move, communicate, provide power, and more. Customers attach their payloads, such as sensors or radios, to the satellite bus, enabling them to accomplish their unique missions. By creating a productized bus standard, Apex eliminates the need for highly customized satellite buses, allowing faster production and addressing a significant industry bottleneck. Apex has secured orders from a range of customers, including top-tier prime contractors.

With the U.S. Department of Defense and other customers aiming to launch thousands of new satellites, Apex's bus technology is increasingly essential. In addition to expanding product lines and manufacturing at scale, Apex plans to hire top talent in both tech and aerospace, with several roles available this year.

"Traditional bus manufacturing has become a bottleneck that inhibits humanity's ability to get necessary capabilities on orbit; from the essentials for everyday operations to cutting-edge technology," said Brittany Walker, General Partner at CRV. "Apex removes that bottleneck for legacy payload providers and those looking to make their mark in space."

The funding round comes as Apex approaches key milestones, including opening a new factory to significantly increase production.

Powered by Apex's team that combines traditional aerospace expertise with new-space mentalities, the raise caps off a series of other major milestones. These include numerous Department of Defense contracts and multiple bus sales to government and commercial customers, such as NASA's recent use of an Apex bus for an Earth science mission. This follows Apex's successful March launch of its first bus, Aries SN1, now on orbit supporting several payloads. Its success represents the fastest build of any production small satellite bus, setting a record and previewing much more work to come.

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