K2 Space, a startup with SpaceX veterans building monster satellites, raises $50 million


K2 Space co-founders Karan Kunjur and Neel Kunjur on the firm’s facility in Torrance, California.

Credit: K2 Space

Los Angeles-based startup K2 Space raised $50 million in new funding as the corporate works to construct monster satellites to match the large rockets which might be coming to market. 

Nearly two years since founding, K2 co-founders and brothers CEO Karan Kunjur and Chief Technology Officer Neel Kunjur count on to launch their first satellite tv for pc on a demonstration mission later this yr.

The firm’s newest fundraiser was led by tech investor Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital and provides to the $8.5 million in seed funding it raised from buyers together with First Round Capital and Republic Capital. K2 declined to specify its valuation after the newest spherical.

“This spherical is successfully constructed for the demand that we’re seeing for launching constellations of the Mega class satellites,” Karan Kunjur instructed CNBC.

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K2’s Mega class satellite tv for pc bus — the bodily construction of a spacecraft that gives energy, motion and extra — is sized to slot in “heavy” and “super heavy” rockets. Some of these rockets are at present in operation, akin to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets or United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan, and a few are anticipated to come back to market within the coming years, together with SpaceX’s Starship, Blue Origin’s New Glenn and extra.

A rendering of a K2 Space Mega satellite tv for pc in area.

Credit: K2 Space

The firm advertises its Mega satellite tv for pc for $15 million every and says they’re able to supporting as much as one ton of payload mass every. At that dimension, K2 would be capable to match 10 Mega satellites in a Falcon 9 rocket.

“We have a fairly modular design, the place the shoppers can dial in simply how a lot payload mass they need, what number of satellites they need to launch, and the way a lot propellant they need to carry,” Neel Kunjur stated, including that “the intent is mainly to offer a buyer a menu of choices the place they will dial it into their given mission wants.”

K2’s upcoming demonstration mission goals to point out quite a few undisclosed clients that its Mega design works. In addition to discussions with varied industrial “massive satellite tv for pc operators,” Karan Kunjur famous that K2 has gained about $6.5 million in Department of Defense contracts over the previous eight months.

“There are totally different elements of the DOD which might be extremely excited in regards to the functionality that we’re in a position to provide on the constellation stage,” Karan Kunjur stated.

A slide from K2 Space’s pitch deck.

Credit: K2 Space

K2 at present has a 15,000 sq. foot facility in Torrance, California, and 28 staff, lots of whom, like Neel Kunjur, boast years of prior expertise at SpaceX.

The Kunjurs count on to make use of the contemporary funds so as to add a 150,000 sq. foot facility later this yr and develop the corporate to greater than 50 staff because it prepares to start producing satellites.

“The purpose is de facto to get into [the larger facility] by the top of the yr and be capable to begin switching gears into mass manufacturing … to actually be certain we’re hitting the size that our clients are asking for,” Karan Kunjur stated.

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