Starfish Space Secures $7 Million In Funding

By Annie Baker ● Oct 4, 2021
  • Starfish Space, a satellite servicing company, announced recently it raised $7 million. These are the details.

Starfish Space — a satellite servicing company founded by former Blue Origin engineers — announced recently that it raised $7 million. This round of funding was co-led by NFX and MaC Venture Capital with participation from PSL Ventures, Boost VC, Liquid2 Ventures, and Hypothesis.

Up until now, missions to service existing satellites on-orbit such as the Hubble Space Telescope have been too large and expensive to be commercially viable. But now with the exciting and rapid evolution of the space industry increasing demand for on-orbit satellite servicing, missions such as debris removal and satellite life extension will become a necessity as we push toward on-orbit manufacturing and assembly.

Starfish Space has been developing the Otter space tug, an efficient and versatile satellite servicing vehicle. The Otter is essentially a small satellite capable of capturing and moving objects in orbit.

The Otter is targeted at two primary missions: extending the life of large geostationary spacecraft and disposing of space debris in low-earth orbit. And these missions will allow satellites to maximize their time spent providing value to people on Earth. The Otter is positioned to become an autonomous robotics infrastructure for a future off-world economy that will someday include manufacturing, assembling, upgrading, recycling, mining, and more.

Starfish Space achieved significant traction so far on the company’s CEPHALOPOD software to perform satellite Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Docking (RPOD). And CEPHALOPOD was selected for funding during Space Force Pitch Day and is currently undergoing testing on-orbit.

The funding raised this round will enable Starfish Space to expand the team and accelerate the development of technologies for Otter. And the company has already opened up several positions in the Kent, WA area. With additional talent, the company is going to focus on increasing confidence in the operations around a client spacecraft, a critical step towards realizing the future off-world economy.

KEY QUOTES:

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Starfish Space team. They are the perfect example of what happens when you have a brilliant experienced team and a vision that goes well beyond the competition. I’m excited for what’s next for Starfish.”

— Morgan Beller, NFX General Partner

“As space becomes more and more commercialized, we see huge opportunities to solve Earth’s problems in space. Additionally, as space becomes more crowded and more regulated, we see a massive need for companies like Starfish to provide satellite services and deorbiting. We believe the team at Starfish and their Otter space tug will be able to do this better than anyone else in the market thanks to their novel technology.”

— Adrian Fenty, MaC Venture Capital Managing General Partner

“At Starfish Space we’re trying to change the way humans interact with the universe around us. There’s still a lot to do, but we’re now in a position to build on our early successes. It’s an incredible joy to pursue this dream surrounded by the extraordinary people we have at Starfish, and we look forward to accelerating this pursuit.”

— Austin Link, Co-Founder of Starfish Space