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Lunar Outpost Announces $12 Million Seed Investment to Scale Mobility Technology Enabling Commercial Lunar Advancement

23 May 2022

Lunar Outpost, a global leader in commercial planetary mobility, announced a $12 million seed funding round today. The closed round was led by Explorer 1 Fund with participation from Promus VenturesSpace CapitalType 1 Ventures and Cathexis Ventures. The capital will be used to launch a new class of autonomous lunar rovers, deploy Lunar Outpost’s robotic technologies in additional environments, and invest in new technologies to improve its existing platforms. Explorer 1 Fund Principal Daniel Kleinman and Promus Ventures Partner Gareth Keane also joined Lunar Outpost’s Board of Directors.

With the promise of decades of safe travel to the Moon and the rise of commercialized space, society looks to expand both human and robotic operations throughout the solar system, igniting a global demand for an extended lunar presence. Countries are racing to set up lunar bases to continue the critical research and leveraging of the Moon’s resources to establish a new paradigm of value generation in space. Lunar Outpost is helping establish this paradigm by developing and implementing technology that enables a sustainable presence in cislunar space – evidenced by their status as the only company with two fully funded commercial rover missions to the Moon.

LV1-MAPP, the rover selected as the payload mobility provider by Nokia and Intuitive Machines to deploy Nokia's 4G LTE network on the lunar surface.

Lunar Outpost’s technologies have both Earth and space applications, providing “mobility as a service” on the Moon to companies, researchers, governments, and universities. Its modular autonomous rovers and service-based business model drastically lower the cost to explore space, build interplanetary infrastructure, and harvest the vast resources of space. Current offerings include:

  • Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP): The first commercial lunar prospector, to be debuted in the United States, with industry-leading payload support and mobility capabilities that will be demonstrated on two commercial missions to the Moon. In mid-2023, the MAPP rover will participate in Nokia’s LTE/4G NASA Tipping Point program with Intuitive Machines to build, integrate and test the first-ever LTE/4G network on the surface of the Moon. MAPP was also selected by NASA’s PRISM program for the Lunar Vertex Mission to the Moon in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to explore the mysterious Reiner Gamma region of the lunar surface in early 2024.

  • Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE): Humanity’s first-ever successful demonstration of how space resources can be used to fuel further exploration in space and sustain human life on another planet. MOXIE contributed to the first demonstration of space resource utilization on another planet by creating oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars.

  • Canary Industrial-Grade Environmental Monitors: Continuous smart IoT devices customizable for PM 2.5, tVOC, O3, NO2, CH4, CO, meteorological data and much more. Lunar Outpost is currently producing and operating thousands of Canary devices that have collected over 35 billion data points through its web-based Canary dashboard.

“We’re living at a time where dependable and repeatable commercial access to the lunar surface with small lunar landers is a reality. Lunar Outpost is sprinting alongside the industry, soon to be one of the few companies currently operating systems on three planetary bodies,” said Lunar Outpost founder and CEO Justin Cyrus. “Prior to this investment, we were working with one round of angel funding – practically boot-strapped – yet the team contracted two lunar missions and has seen 6X growth in revenue compared to last year. Our growth and today’s funding news showcases the confidence from our customers and investors that Lunar Outpost is the global leader in commercial planetary mobility.”

The Moon is now a marketplace. According to the SpaceTech Industry 2021 report, there are more than 10,000 private space tech companies in the U.S. These companies are eager to monetize and benefit from the abundant, usable lunar resources – many not-yet-discovered – including building materials, fuel, water and oxygen. Production of small lunar landers has increased exponentially over the past five years, with at least 14 lunar landings planned in the next three years .

This deluge of small lunar landers is driven by significant investment from NASA through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program (CLPS). As part of the program, Lunar Outpost was awarded the first-ever contract from NASA for the collection and commercialization of Lunar Regolith from the lunar surface.

“We are at a key inflection point in the space economy. With the rise of international commercial space activity, launch costs are decreasing, opening up opportunities to invest in growing categories like lunar infrastructure,” said Daniel Kleinman, Principal at Explorer 1 Fund. “The research and data Lunar Outpost’s rovers provide act as a catalyst for building out this infrastructure. Our investment is the firm’s largest to date and Lunar Outpost will now be the most highly capitalized U.S. startup focused on cislunar space.  The groundwork their team is doing – collecting samples of Regolith – is critical as we increasingly look toward utilizing the resources the Moon has to offer.”

Over the next year , the company plans to take advantage of a growing space ecosystem by rapidly expanding its manufacturing and engineering facilities in the greater Denver area, lunar test facilities, and overseas locations.


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