The Ministry of Science and Innovation’s CDTI agency has acquired a stake in PLD Space through its Innvierte programme. This initial tranche of 450,000 euros in a bridge financing round could subsequently be supplemented by further economic contributions up to a maximum of 15 million euros if so requested by the those investing in the forthcoming Series B. The CDTI has already supported the business on various occasions. In 2012 this took the form of a Neotec loan, followed by a financial grant from the CDTI together with the ERDF to develop the TEPREL-b liquid fuel engine under Spain’s 2014-2020 Multi-regional Operational Programme. It also funded the FLPP-LPSR programme, which was successfully completed in 2019 through the European Space Agency.
The CDTI is now formally becoming a shareholder in the company, which is working on the development of a Spanish orbital launch vehicle known as MIURA 5. PLD Space will towards the end of 2022 be launching the MIURA 1 suborbital rocket as a technological and operational trial, to perform in-flight validation of the technology required for the subsequent development of MIURA 5, as well as the ground and in-flight operations needed for the rocket’s safe and successful launch. MIURA 1 will also be capable of carrying payloads of up to 100 kg to be exposed to micro-gravity conditions and then returned to earth, offering scientific research and technological development services. PLD Space has to date attracted over 28 million euros of private investment and institutional support, mostly from within Spain, such as the recent investment made by Arcano Partners.
Raúl Verdú, COO and co-founder of PLD Space, had this to say: “It is an honour to partner an institution such as the CDTI, which has now been supporting PLD Space in its development for seven years. We are particularly grateful to the PLD Space shareholders JME Venture Capital and ALZIS, who have invested together with the CDTI on this occasion, making it possible for the CDTI to form part of our company and the development of the MIURA 5 program”.
CDTI has shown their excitement in being part of the company “and of its brilliant future as a new European (Spanish!) rocket”, quoting Juan Ureña, from the Department of Capitalization of Technology Companies. “Together we are closer to make your/our dream true of putting state-of-the-art Spanish space technology into the market”.
ALZIS is a leading business and investment group in the Valencia Region. The brand was originally founded in the city of Elche in the 1960s, and now has more than 60 highly diverse companies operating across a range of sectors, including energy, leisure, health, car parks, real estate, financial, recycling and other services.
Its Family Office investment role covers various expanding activities in the fields of technological consultancy, travel consolidation, beauty and personal grooming, the online and retail pet business, technological enterprise funds and aerospace. It has in this last area played a role since 2016 as shareholder and development director at PLD Space.
JME is a Venture Capital firm with over 100M euros under management. It invests in innovative companies that use technology to generate defensible and scalable businesses globally. To date it has invested in over 40 companies and has sold 9 of them.
The CDTI is the Spanish central government body supporting knowledge-based innovation, providing consultancy and public assistance for innovation in the form of a partially reimbursable grants or subsidies. The CDTI also internationalises the R&D and innovation business projects of Spanish enterprises and entities, and manages Spain’s involvement in international R&D and innovation bodies such as Horizon 2020 and Eureka, as well as Science and Space industries. Through the Innvierte Sustainable Economy initiative, it also supports and facilitates the capitalisation of tech firms.