Los Angeles-based spacecraft manufacturing company, Apex, has recently announced the successful completion of its Series A fundraising round, raising a total of $16 million. The funding round was led by renowned venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Shield Capital, bringing Apex’s total funding to over $27 million. This substantial investment will be utilized by the company to establish a new production facility in Los Angeles, covering an area of 50,000 square feet. The facility will be dedicated to the mass production of satellite buses, enabling Apex to enhance its production capacity and significantly reduce lead times for its customers.
At the core of Apex’s offerings is their flagship satellite bus, the Aries platform. Weighing 100kg, this versatile bus has the capability to support up to 100kg of payload mass. Apex leverages the advantages of serial production and scalability to manufacture these buses, allowing for customization with different performance packages to cater to diverse mission requirements. By adopting this approach, Apex empowers its customers to benefit from efficient and cost-effective solutions that align with their specific needs.
Additionally, Apex has unveiled the list of customers who will be flying on its maiden Aries satellite bus, scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2024 through SpaceX’s Transporter 10 mission. Three esteemed organizations, namely Orbit Fab, Ubotica, and a Tier-1 Defense Contractor, have chosen Apex’s Aries bus as the host platform for their missions. The combined efforts of these customers will be carried out on a single satellite bus, aptly named “Call to Adventure.” The missions encompass a range of activities, including proximity operations, edge computation, and communications.
Ian Cinnamon, the Chief Executive Officer of Apex, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the company’s inaugural mission, emphasizing the significance of enabling a major defense prime and two commercial entities to deploy their payloads into orbit. He also highlighted the strategic partnership with the leading venture firm in Silicon Valley, Andreessen Horowitz, and the prominent government-focused venture firm, Shield Capital, stating that their involvement signifies a strong alignment of interests as Apex caters to the requirements of both government and commercial customers.
It’s important to note that this multi-customer, hosted payload mission will be a unique arrangement for Apex’s first launch. This approach allows Apex to validate the capabilities of its Aries platform while simultaneously fulfilling the specific needs of its customers. Typically, Apex delivers satellite buses for dedicated customer use, either for single-spacecraft missions or constellations. Following the success of this inaugural mission, Apex has secured contracts to deliver multiple buses to customers in 2024.
Max Benassi, the Chief Technology Officer of Apex, expressed excitement about the company’s future plans, particularly the establishment of “Factory One,” a state-of-the-art production facility dedicated to scaled manufacturing of satellite buses. Benassi envisions Factory One as the initial investment in the infrastructure required to produce tens and eventually hundreds of satellites annually. With his extensive experience in aerospace manufacturing, including scaling operations at SpaceX and serving as the Director of Engineering at Astra, Benassi brings invaluable expertise to Apex’s pursuit of rapid expansion and industry leadership.
The executive team at Apex, comprising Ian Cinnamon and Max Benassi, boasts a wealth of experience in aerospace, dual-use technologies, and deep-tech companies. Cinnamon, the CEO, led his venture-backed company Synapse to remarkable growth before its acquisition by Palantir. Meanwhile, CTO Max Benassi played a pivotal role in scaling aerospace manufacturing operations during his tenure at SpaceX.
In conclusion, Apex’s successful Series A funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Shield Capital, has propelled the company’s total funding to over $27 million. This significant investment will facilitate the establishment of a new production facility in Los Angeles, enabling Apex to manufacture satellite buses at a larger scale and