Oxford Space Systems secures £6.7m in funding

By Murielle Gonzalez | Published: 15-Jun-2018

Headquartered at the Harwell Space Cluster, OSS has access to the largest cleanroom on campus for the assembly of flight hardware

Oxford Space Systems (OSS) has secured £6.7 million in funding from a syndicate of investors including IQ Capital, Longwall Ventures, Foresight Williams, OTIF, Midven and Wren. The current round, led by Longwall Ventures, brings the total amount raised in external funding to £10m since OSS’ launch in late 2013.

The recent investment makes OSS the most highly funded UK start-up, upstream space technology business, the company said.

OSS is pioneering the development of a new generation of deployable antennas and structures that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than currently available. The company achieves this by combining its new, proprietary materials, which are lighter than those traditionally used in space technology, with traditional flight proven materials, often using origami engineering techniques to reduce stowage volume.

David Denny, Partner, Longwall Ventures, lead investor in OSS said: “We are delighted to see what the OSS team have achieved since Longwall first invested in 2013. We have valued working with IQ Capital along with the other major investors in this and earlier funding rounds. We have also appreciated support for OSS from various players including the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK, ESA, the Satellite Applications Catapult, RAL Space and their various customers who include the major satellite builders across North America and Europe.”

The new funding will enable OSS to move into its new, custom-built headquarters at the Harwell Space Cluster, which provides OSS with the largest cleanroom on campus for the assembly of flight hardware.

Mike Lawton, CEO and OSS founder, said: “This is an exciting time for OSS. Closing the latest round and moving to our own facility at the Harwell Space Cluster puts us in an excellent position to address the global opportunities we’re being approached with."

Lawton launched the company after realising that deployable antennas and structures are often a neglected area of a spacecraft; an area ripe for innovation.

"With OSS, we’re creating a step change by using innovative materials and a new approach to volume product build - and this investment is as much a recognition of our successes in delivering on this vision to date," he said.

According to Lawton, commercial space is a large and rapidly growing market that will be worth trillions of dollars over the next decade. "In many ways, the space industry is at a similar stage today as the internet was in the mid-1990s. This is a unique moment in history to take part in an exciting and rapidly growing sector," he concluded.

The company will raise up to an additional £1.3m in phase 2 of the current round which it intends to keep open until the end of September 2018.

The Harwell Space Cluster is a global space hub that is driving innovation in upstream and downstream technologies. It will profile some of OSS’ hardware and technologies, alongside four other new space companies seeing significant growth in this market.

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