Renens, Switzerland, January 19, 2023. ClearSpace, the Swiss-based leader of in-orbit servicing and active space debris removal, is delighted to announce that it has finalised a EUR 26.7 million series A financing round, to further accelerate the movement toward the sustainable use of space.
This new financing round was led by OTB Ventures backed by the European Investment Fund under
InvestEU programme and Swisscom Ventures, with participation from the Luxembourg Future Fund,
Lakestar, In-Q-Tel, Happiness Capital and 600 T Space Investments. As part of the financing, ClearSpace
is establishing an operational presence in Luxembourg that will benefit from the strong space and
satellite focus there.
The company recently announced a satellite life-extension collaboration with satcom operator
Intelsat, building upon the technology being developed under the EUR 110 million space debris
removal mission, ClearSpace-1, secured from the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2020. ClearSpace-1,
which is supported by Omega as Elite Partner, will be the first of numerous missions ClearSpace is
planning for both low-earth and geostationary orbits.
The global space market is booming, driven by strategic and commercial interest from governments,
technology innovations opening up new markets for the private sector, and reduced satellite launch
Citigroup predicts that the space industry should reach USD 1 trillion in annual revenue by 2040.
Meanwhile, decades of unsustainable practices have congested the near-Earth orbital regime with a
plethora of dead and defunct satellites and rockets. According to ESA, there are 32,480 debris items
orbiting the Earth that are tracked by space surveillance networks and more than 130 million currently
untrackable objects ranging in size from 1 mm to greater than 10 cm are included. This space junk not
only pollutes our fragile near-Earth environment, but it also represents a critical risk to active satellites
that can (and have been) destroyed in high-speed collisions with such debris.
ClearSpace was founded in 2018 with the sole aim of making space operations more sustainable. The
company is developing technologies and services that are needed to extend the life of active satellites,
for example when they run out of fuel, and to safely remove them from orbit when they have reached
their end of life. Such services are critical for maximising the value from space-based assets, and for
preventing the dangerous build-up of space debris objects.
ClearSpace Co-founders, CEO Luc Piguet and CTO Muriel Richard-Noca said “We began this company
4 years ago with the goal of making space operations sustainable and are delighted to be joined on
our journey by our new partner investors. The market is now developing, much faster than we had
expected, and we look forward to accelerating our activities to meet the urgent needs of space
Adam Niewiński, GP & Co-founder at OTB Ventures said “Funding new science and technology
developments is crucial to growing the space sector and catalysing further investment into the
economy. Private investment in space companies, especially from venture capital, has steadily broken
annual records over the past decade. With the backing from our limited partners, which include the
European Investment Fund (EIF), we look to invest in leaders of the new space sector, that will
dominate the next phase of space operations. Tens of thousands of artificial objects are tracked in orbit
around the Earth, with many times that expected to be in orbit but are too small to be tracked.
ClearSpace is developing key technologies for satellite proximity and rendezvous operations in space,
which is essential for the sustainable future of space.”
Dominique Megret of Swisscom Ventures said “Swisscom Ventures is delighted to back our Swiss
made champion ClearSpace in its mission to make space operations sustainable, ClearSpace is a deep
tech landmark, and we look forward to working with the team going forward.”
The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) Board said “The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) is very happy to
participate in this important financing round to support ClearSpace in its unprecedented mission of
in-orbit servicing and space debris removal. Supporting companies like ClearSpace in their quest to
ensure more sustainable space operations is of crucial importance in light of the growing space
industry. We are excited to see ClearSpace develop operations here in Luxembourg and forge close
bonds with both private & public players within Luxembourg’s vibrant and growing space sector.
ClearSpace marks the final LFF co-investment and yet another innovative new space investment as
part of the LFF portfolio and we welcome the company to Luxembourg with open arms.”