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Smallsat Launcher ABL Space Systems Closes $170M Funding Round

By | March 26, 2021

ABL performs RS1 integrated stage test in 2020. Photo: ABL

Smallsat launcher ABL Space Systems has closed its Series B funding round of $170 million led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Existing ABL investors participated in the round, and Fidelity Management & Research LLC and an unnamed global investment management firm joined as new investors as well. 

ABL, which is based in El Segundo, California, said in the March 25 announcement that the funding round was conducted at a valuation of $1.3 billion.

The company is preparing for the first launch of its 1,000-kilogram class RS1 launch vehicle later this year. ABL was recently selected by Lockheed Martin, a strategic investor, to launch from Scotland in 2022 as part of the UK Pathfinder Launch program. ABL reports it has contracts with ten customers including five commercial, four from the U.S. Department of Defense, and one national space agency.

“We think the global space economy has significant long-term growth potential. We think ABL has a management team, technology set and product strategy that should enable long-term competitive advantages,”  said Jason Adams, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price’s Global Industrials Fund.

ABL’s last funding round of $90 million closed in August 2020.