UK space propulsion startup, Magdrive raises £1.4M to make interplanetary space travel affordable

Magdrive today announced a new round of seed funding of £1.4m. This round of funding was led by Founders Fund with participation from Entrepreneur’s First, 7percent Ventures and Luminous Ventures. The round was also topped up by a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s public body for Research and Innovation.

“We are thrilled to back this innovative group out of the UK, there have been many attempts at small satellite propulsion innovation over the past decade, but they have been marginal improvements on pre-existing technology, Magdrive is the first step-change improvement offering the best of chemical and electric propulsion in a single system.” says Delian Asparouhov, principal at Founder’s Fund


“At 7percent we seek founding teams with 'moonshot' ambitions. With Magdrive this is not just a metaphor: their revolutionary plasma thruster will soon be powering satellites, but in future could take us to deep space. While the UK's expertise in constructing satellites is world renowned, there has been far less focus on propulsion. In fact Great Britain is the only country to have successfully developed and then, in the 1970's abandoned, an indigenous satellite launch capability, which undoubtedly curbed the UK's space sector. So we're excited to be backing Magdrive, one of a new generation of British space startups, which has the vision and ambition to become a world beating company in this burgeoning sector.” Andrew J Scott, Founding Partner, 7percent Ventures


This new round of funding will be used to accelerate the development of an in-orbit demonstration of the Magdrive plasma thruster at their Oxfordshire-based Lab at the European Space Agency Business Incubator.


Magdrive is on an exciting trajectory since forming only last September in 2019. They were accepted into the Entrepreneur First accelerator in April, accepted into the European Space Agency Incubator in June and secured the backing of Founders Fund, the first institutional investor in SpaceX. Magdrive is working with future customers to accelerate the path to the first in-orbit demo.

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