Rocket engine startup Ursa Major quietly closed $100 million in new funding

Ursa Major has quietly closed on $100 million in new funding, according to documents seen by TechCrunch and multiple sources.

Series D funders include BlackRock and Space Capital. The financing reportedly closed last October.

The new capital came less than a year after the company closed on an $85 million Series C. In total, the company has now raised around $234 million. The company sought financing at a pre-money valuation of $400 million.

An Ursa Major spokesperson declined to comment “on rumors or speculation.”

Ursa, led by CEO Joe Laurienti, is building a 5,000-pound liquid-oxygen-kerosene engine called the Hadley and a much larger Ripley engine 10 times more powerful with 50,000-pound thrust. The company avoids the vertical integration paradigm that has historically dominated the aerospace industry. Instead, it focuses solely on the engine, one of the most difficult parts of a rocket to develop.

“We really like the idea that we’re a technology development company, and companies that fly rockets today shouldn’t have the same engine that they designed for their rocket 10 years ago,” Laurienti told TechCrunch in an interview last year. past. “That’s the paradigm we see in vertical integration.”

Ursa’s public group of customers includes the small launch companies Astra, Phantom Space and Stratolaunch. The company also won an engine delivery contract with the US Air Force.

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