Oxford Space Systems' £3M Funding Round, Supported by UK Ministry Of Defence contributed through UKI2S

Published: 9 January 2024

Oxford Space Systems announces the successful completion of a £3 million equity investment round.

Key player in the investment round is UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), managed by Future Planet Capital – contributing £750k from their recently announced MOD funded Defence & Security portfolio.

Oxford Space Systems has achieved an impressive trajectory, with revenues tripling, successful space antenna deployments, and an increase in employee numbers from 50 to 87.

The company has identified further opportunities to expand its product portfolio, exploring high-growth opportunities in satellite communication markets, both in space and on the ground.

The company has secured partner and grant funding which together with the growth capital equity round announced today will enable execution of development plans for these opportunities.

Oxford Space System

Specific projects identified by the company include variants of the successful Wrapped Rib Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna architecture, a Hinged Rib high frequency antenna for intersatellite communications and a terrestrial antenna for rapid deployment/high performance connectivity. These products all have a range of both commercial and defence and security applications to enable high performance, cost effective capabilities from space across earth observation, telecoms and security applications.

Potential applications of the Hinged Rib antenna include data relay from Earth Observation satellites in Low Earth Orbit to high capacity geostationary satellites and subsequent down link to secure ground stations.

The terrestrial antenna will be ultra lightweight to better support dismounted soldiers or other users, such as disaster recovery and aid workers, that need fast access to high capacity communications networks.

Sean Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Oxford Space Systems, comments on the round:

“This growth round will enable us to develop high-potential products and expand our market reach beyond that previously envisaged. We are pleased that UKI2S has been able to provide significant support for this growth funding, alongside our other investors, and recognise that these outstanding products can help the UK and its allies and partners address their future requirements in an innovative and cost effective way. This is also enabling us to build on our deployable antenna product development and manufacturing capabilities at our Harwell and Abingdon facilities, showcasing a commitment to UK technology advancement and innovation.”

Deal lead for UKI2S at Future Planet Capital Alex Leigh said:

“UKI2S is proud to support Oxford Space Systems with a £750k cheque from its £18m Defence & Security portfolio.

Oxford Space Systems is set to play a vital role in the space industry, increasingly crucial for the economy and national security. In 2024, amidst a constrained funding landscape, UKI2S is actively deploying capital into investments focused on defence & security, and we are delighted to kick off the year by supporting Oxford Space Systems’ growth.”

To date, UKI2S has invested in defence and security-focused startups such as Halo X-Ray in Nottingham, which aims to improve security in aviation; Honuworx in Aberdeen who are focused on sustainable subsea operations; and Bristol-based Q5D, a company enabling new and more efficient manufacturing of both power and electronic circuits for everything from flight controls to washing machines.