Spanish Startup PLD Space Wants to Capitalise On Space Sector Opportunities12th Nov 2021
PLD Space is a Spanish aerospace company founded in 2011 by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú. The company is determined to make use of the opportunities offered by the rapidly developing space industry and focuses on developing reusable rockets. PLD Space should be ready for its maiden flight in 2022. In the meantime, company founders shared some of their plans in an interview with Forbes.
Agencies Supporting PLD Space Developments
According to PLD Space founders, getting the required financial support has not been easy, yet they’ve managed to attract investment from several European equity funds. Additional funding has been granted by space organisations, especially the European Space Agency and local government.
Several rounds of financing have been used to develop two reusable launchers – MIURA 1 and MIURA 5. The rockets are built to launch small satellites and, according to PLD Space founders, this market niche offers a very lucrative opportunity the company is determined to make use of.
PLD Space Roadmap for the Coming Months
If everything goes according to plan, the MUIRA 1 rocket should make its debut launch by the end of 2022. If the first flight is successful, PLD Space will shift its attention to the second launcher – MUIRA 5, which should be launch-ready by 2024.
Public Attention & Additional Investment Opportunities
According to PLD Space founders, many investors see the space industry as ‘the new Internet.’ Possibly, the market segment will become a trillion-dollar industry in the next few years, which explains why PLD Space has been so successful in securing the necessary funding.
Besides institutional investment, public support and investment from celebrities play a key role in space industry development. However, according to Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú, Europe is different from the US, which is why celebrity investment alone will not be enough to support the budding rocket-building industry. Still, the more people talk about space, the better for the emerging space startups – both in terms of getting public support and attracting the necessary financing.
Investment Risks & Opportunities
PLD Space believes that the interest rates of investing in the growing space industry are incredibly high. Besides, the company is a unique project in Europe. Currently, the aspiring startup has financial support from major equity funds, such as Criteria, La Caixa, and JME Ventures Capital.
As already mentioned, the company has been very successful in the first few rounds of financing and expects to attract even more private funds in the rounds to come.
Company founders specifically mention the importance of non-financial support from educational institutions that can contribute to business development. Even though PLD Space is mostly financed by private funds, business growth would not be possible without government and institutional support.