Houghton, Michigan-based space technology company Orbion has announced securing $9.2 million in venture round financing led by Material Impact. Ann Arbor Spark, Invest Detroit, Invest Michigan and Wakestream Ventures out of Grand Rapids also infused capital in this Series A round.
Founded in 2017, the company is working on making plasma thrusters for use in small satellites. The Hall-effect thrusters use an electric field to speed up their propellant and create thrust. Till today, the plasma propulsion approach was not available in the market at a cost and volume for the smaller satellites.
Notably, the firm had picked up $500,000 as prize money when it won a competition at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. It had also raked $1.36 million in Seed financing as well.
Adam Sharkawy, Material Impact co-founder and managing partner talking about the funding through a press release said, "We believe Orbion's thruster technology will propel small satellites into a booming market driven by applications ranging from high-speed mobile communications to high-resolution imaging." The company had recently said that it is planning to mass-produce a first-of-its-kind plasma thruster called the Orbion Aurora system for small satellites.
Orbion CEO Brad King talking about the firm said that Orbion uses lessons learned from the tactical missile industry and brings modern mass-manufacturing to space technology" to meet increasing demand at lower costs."
Orbion will use the freshly raised funding to meet the increasing demand from commercial industry, as well as government agencies. It will be interesting to see if the company manages to materialize its aim.