AE Industrial Partners Leads $75 Million Series B Growth Equity Investment in Firefly Aerospace


Reading time ( words)

AE Industrial Partners, LP (AEI), a U.S-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power and utility services, and specialty industrial markets, announced that it led a $75 million Series B financing round in Firefly Aerospace, an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services. The Series B investment will support Firefly's next stage of growth by providing capital for future Alpha flights, the Blue Ghost Lunar Lander Program, and the development of additional launch and in-space solutions. Concurrently, AEI completed its previously reported acquisition of Noosphere Venture Partners LP's ("Noosphere Ventures") stake in the Company. The transaction values Firefly above its May 2021 Series A valuation of more than $1 billion.

"With the closing of our previously announced acquisition, plus the additional Series B funding, Firefly now has the resources to deliver new innovations in space launch vehicles," said Kirk Konert, Partner at AEI. "Having recently notched some significant milestones, the Company is at an inflection point, and our investments will allow Firefly to take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead. We look forward to partnering with the Firefly team at such an exciting time for space transportation."

Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly is committed to providing economical and convenient access to space for small-to-medium payloads through the design, manufacturing, and operation of reliable spacecraft and launch vehicles. The Company's vertical integration business model also leverages U.S. commercial off-the-shelf components. This approach allows Firefly to minimize development time and be first to market with new low cost capabilities to the space-based transportation industry. Firefly is committed to strengthening U.S. leadership in the small-to-medium launch market, while establishing international strategic partnerships to effectively serve the global market.

"AE Industrial's ownership marks a new, exciting chapter for Firefly," said Tom Markusic, Firefly's CEO. "These investments allow Firefly to build on the momentum from last year's financing, and better position us for future growth. We're eager to work with the AEI team and benefit from their industry and financial markets experience."

The Company performed its first launch of Alpha, its flagship launch vehicle, in September 2021. With the closing of the transaction, Firefly looks forward to resuming its government relationships and expects to have a second launch of Alpha in the second quarter of 2022. Its second vehicle recently completed acceptance testing of both stages and will be ready for launch in the next few months. Firefly also recently completed the "Critical Design Review" (CDR) phase for its Blue Ghost lunar lander, and is currently working towards final pre-fabrication "Integration Readiness Review" (IRR) that will be presented in April.

AEI's portfolio companies have a history of serving as strategic partners to the top national security agencies, including the Department of Defense. AEI believes that leveraging this experience will be a critical advantage as Firefly looks to secure additional U.S. federal government contracts.

"Firefly is a great addition to AE Industrial's portfolio of space assets," said Tyler Letarte, Vice President at AEI. "We see significant tailwinds and opportunity for Firefly in the small and mid-sized launch landscape and look forward to accelerating the Company's path to successful payload delivery."

"The AE Industrial transaction provides a clear path for Firefly to achieve lasting success," said Noosphere Ventures founder Max Polyakov, who co-founded Firefly Aerospace in 2017. "Firefly has enormous potential to capture a significant share of the space market. While Noosphere's financing of the Company has been a tremendous success story returning a multiple of our original investment, we remain excited about the long-term success of this unicorn."

Covington & Burling LLP served as legal advisor and Ernst & Young served as financial advisor to AEI. Crowell & Moring LLP and Hogan Lovells LLP served as legal advisors to Firefly. DLA Piper LLP (US) and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisors, and Jefferies LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor, to Noosphere Ventures.

Share




Suggested Items

Intel Joins DARPA’s Space-BACN to Accelerate Inter-Satellite Communications

10/12/2022 | Intel
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Intel for Phase 1 of the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program, which aims to create a low-cost, reconfigurable optical communications terminal that will translate information between diverse satellite constellations.

Catching Up With Alpha Circuit’s Prashant Patel

04/05/2022 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
There is plenty of evidence that the American PCB industry is going through a revitalization. While a few new companies are being established, others are being rejuvenated as investors gain more interest and confidence in domestic PCB companies. I reached out to Prashant Patel, owner and president of Alpha Circuit I LLC in the greater Chicago area. I wanted to hear about his investment and the unique path he took to owning a PCB shop.

James Webb Space Telescope en Route to Discover Origins of the Universe, Study Exoplanets

01/06/2022 | Thales
A joint program between NASA and its counterparts in Europe (ESA) and Canada (CSA), Webb will observe the beginnings of our Universe by reaching back in time to just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It will also observe exoplanets – planets outside the Solar System – that are comparable to our own, as well as the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. The ultimate aim of this successor to the iconic Hubble space telescope is to discover galaxies that reach back to the relative beginnings of the Universe. This state-of-the-art time machine is expected to revolutionize all aspects of modern astronomy. It will unveil the hidden side of the Universe, namely stars enveloped in clouds of dust, molecules in the atmosphere of other worlds, and the light issuing from the first stars and galaxies.



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.