Gilmour Space raises $55M to launch Australia’s first orbital rocket

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Image credit: Gilmour Space Technologies

Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies has raised $55 million in a Series D funding round ahead of a maiden orbital launch later this year. 

The funding round, led by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), Blackbird, Main Sequence, and Australian superannuation funds HostPlus and HESTA, will support the manufacturing, testing, and launching of sovereign-made rockets and satellites to orbit. 

The Eris Orbital Launch Vehicle is a three-stage rocket capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbits. 

The vehicle is expected to launch in the coming months, pending approvals from the Australian Space Agency. 

As part of the project, Gilmour is developing a diversified space services platform, including rocket and satellite production and launch services from their exclusive Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland. 

Adam Gilmour, co-founder and CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, said support from shareholders will ensure that Gilmour meets 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,” the company CEO 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.”

QIC made its original Business Investment Fund investment in 2021. 

Since then, Gilmour has created more than 100 jobs across Queensland, with plans to increase to over 300 by mid-2027. 

Patrick Christiansen, private equity investment director at QIC, 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. 

“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,” Christiansen said. 

Blackbird co-founding partner Rick Baker said the Series D funding will enable Gilmour to execute multiple launch attempts and become the first Australian-made rocket to get to orbit.