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Fresh capital fuels Queensland’s space race as Gilmour eyes launch

QIC MEDIA RELEASE


QUEENSLAND, Australia February 19, 2024Queensland's space race is gathering pace with Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies raising a $55 million Series D round ahead of a maiden orbital launch later this year.


Gilmour Space Eris orbital launch vehicle, Australia
Gilmour Space Eris orbital launch vehicle, Australia

Led by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) alongside Blackbird, Main Sequence and Australian superannuation funds HostPlus and HESTA, the capital will fund the manufacture, test and launch of sovereign-made rockets and satellites to orbit.

 

Gilmour are building a diversified space services platform, including rocket and satellite production, and launch services from their exclusive Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland.

 

Co-founder and CEO Adam Gilmour said the firepower brought by committed shareholders will ensure the business can meet its milestones over the medium term and leverage more immediate opportunities in Australia and abroad.

 

"Our team is fortunate to be backed by high-calibre investors whose unwavering support has led to the development of Australia's first orbital rocket, built by an Australian-owned company, and supported by a local space supply chain," Mr Gilmour said.

 

"This investment will allow us to enhance Australia's sovereign space and defence capabilities, onshore more manufacturing, and to hire and upskill even more Queenslanders.

 

"Our vision is for rockets made and launched in Queensland, carrying satellites and other payloads to space for our global customers, and we're incredibly grateful for the support of QIC in helping us realise that vision."

 

Since QIC's original Business Investment Fund investment in 2021, Gilmour has created more than 100 jobs across Queensland and plans to increase its total headcount to over 300 by mid-2027.

 

QIC Private Equity Investment Director Patrick Christiansen said Gilmour's ability to compete as a full-stack launch services provider will be a strong value proposition for an underserviced segment of the global space market.

 

"Growing sovereign capabilities in Australian aerospace is often talked about, but it's Adam and his team knuckling down and making it happen," Mr Christiansen said.

 

"Never has an Australian-made, Australian-owned rocket launched into orbit, and we join the nation in eager anticipation as all eyes turn to Bowen for history to be written."

 

"When we first invested in Gilmour, the team had just produced a ten-centimetre diameter hybrid rocket engine," Blackbird co-founding partner Rick Baker said.

 

"It was a cute little thing that produced a fierce little flame, but the ambition of Adam and the team to build a full-scale rocket was clear. The achievements of the team in taking that technology through years of testing and iteration are coming to a head now.

 

"This funding round will allow Gilmour to attempt multiple launches and to become the first Australian-built rocket to get to orbit. We're so excited to be on the journey with the Gilmour team."

 

The Eris Orbital Launch Vehicle is a three-stage rocket capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbits. It is anticipated to launch in the coming months pending launch approvals from the Australian Space Agency. 

 

For more information about Gilmour Space's launch program, visit www.gspace.com.

 

Learn more about the QIC-managed Business Investment Fund at www.qic.com.au/bqbif.

 

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ABOUT QIC PRIVATE EQUITY


Managing more than A$8.6 billion in AUM (as at 30 Sep 2023), we have sufficient scale to be meaningful to our partners but are not large enough to dilute our clients' investment opportunities. We invest from seed to growth stage, contributing up to A$10 million to support product development, team expansion and strategy execution with a focus on supporting local businesses developing innovative products and services.


Media contact: Ben Brew | bbrew@qic.com



ABOUT GILMOUR SPACE


Gilmour Space Technologies is a leading Australian space company developing Eris orbital launch vehicles and G-Sat microsatellite platforms; and launching from the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in north Queensland. Commercial operations begin in 2024.


Media contact: media@gspace.com 


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