French small launch startup Latitude closes $30M Sequence B

French small launch developer Latitude has closed $30 million in new capital because it eyes the primary flight of its Zephyr rocket in 2025.

Whereas different rocket firms are going larger, creating much more huge rockets, Latitude is taking a unique method: gentle, small, and hopefully low cost sufficient to beat out rivals. Its first rocket, Zephyr, will stand at simply 62 toes and will likely be able to delivering as much as 100 kilograms of payload to low Earth orbit. (For reference, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has a payload capability of twenty-two,800 kilograms to LEO.) The 2-stage rocket will likely be powered by eight 3D-printed engines referred to as Navier, which Latitude is creating in-house.

In an announcement, Latitude CEO and cofounder Stanislas Maximin mentioned 2024 can be a “pivotal 12 months” earlier than Zephyr’s first flight in 2025.

Certainly, the corporate goals to make use of the financing to proceed creating the following iteration of Zephyr – a barely bigger launcher that will likely be able to carrying 200 kilograms of payload by 2028. As well as, Latitude mentioned in a press launch that the funding will allow the institution of a brand new meeting line, manufacturing the primary launcher, further testing and including extra headcount to the 100-plus particular person group.

Latitude’s current traders Crédit Mutuel Innovation, Enlargement, Bpifrance by way of DeepTech 2030, and UI Investissement, in addition to Blast.membership, Kima Ventures and unnamed particular person traders, contributed to the spherical. The corporate has now raised practically $55 million to-date.

Latitude is a part of a rising variety of European launch startups trying to increase that continent’s native launch functionality, which has been sorely missing with ongoing delays to next-gen rockets like Arianespace’s Ariane 6. Charles Beigbeder, a European VC with Enlargement, referred to as this out immediately in an announcement, saying that “Europe must regain full sovereignty over area launchers.”

The French authorities has additionally made its personal efforts to assist a local area business – which Latitude is already benefitting from. The nation’s DeepTech 2030 fund goals to speculate over 50 billion euros to kickstart France’s deep tech ecosystem.

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