Phantom Space has raised a bridge round of funding to scale up hiring ahead of its first rocket launch next year.

Balerion Space Ventures led the round, which also included participation from the Reaser Family Office, KOLH Capital, and a handful of existing and new investors. The new tranche of funding brings the company’s total fundraising to $37M.

It takes a village: Original SpaceX VP of biz dev Jim Cantrell founded the Tucson, AZ-based launch and satellite systems startup in 2019 with cofounder Michael D’Angelo on a mission to simplify the road to orbit by both building spacecraft and providing them a ride. Phantom takes advantage of the commercial marketplace for spacecraft components to build constellations in a capital-efficient way.

“We see the supply chain as diverse, resulting from SpaceX’s success,” Cantrell told Payload in an email. “By using them, we minimize capitalization needs. What we cannot buy, or if it’s too expensive, we have developed ourselves.”

On the list of Phantom’s offerings menu:

Daytona, a 500-kg, two-stage launcher that uses Hadley engines supplied by Ursa Major

Phantom Cloud, the company’s own constellation that will provide cloud storage and computing capabilities on orbit once deployed

Satellite manufacturing 

The company has a $79M commercial launch backlog and has been awarded a task order from NASA for launch services worth up to $300M.

The road to launch: Phantom Space is aiming to launch its Daytona system for the first time in mid-2025. Cantrell estimates that the company will need to secure another ~$30M to get through that launch, and a full Series B raise is underway to prepare. 

Daytona will likely make its debut from Vandenberg, where Phantom Space has already secured permission to fly. The company is tracking through the permitting process at the Cape for future launches.

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