Italian Space Logistics Firm D-Orbit Secures Over $100 Million in Funding

Italian space logistics company D-Orbit has successfully raised more than 100 million euros ($109.37 million) in a funding round led by Japan's Marubeni. The funding will be utilized to expand the deployment of satellites and enhance services such as space debris clean-up. D-Orbit aims to distinguish itself in the rapidly growing space industry by providing technology that facilitates the delivery of satellites to their intended orbits following rocket launches by companies like SpaceX.

The company, which was valued at over $1.28 billion in January 2022, did not disclose its new valuation after the recent funding round. Existing investors, including Seraphim Space Investment Trust, United Ventures, Indaco Venture Partners, and Primo Ventures, also participated in the funding. D-Orbit anticipates additional investment from new backers in the first half of this year. The funding follows a significant increase in annual revenue since 2021, with over 60 million euros in government and space agency contracts.

D-Orbit's client base includes the European Space Agency, Planet Labs, and the University of Southern California. The company's services encompass not only satellite delivery to specific orbits but also space debris disposal, satellite refueling, and space-based cloud computing. The space industry has attracted substantial investor interest in recent years, driven by robust government spending. The funding is expected to support D-Orbit's further expansion and the potential for acquisitions and public offerings in the future.

This news comes amid a broader context of significant developments in the logistics sector. The transport industry is grappling with the convergence of economic, climate, and digital crises, compounded by the war in Ukraine and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

These challenges have prompted transport firms to seek new partnerships and innovative solutions to navigate the turbulent waters. In the trucking sector, there is a notable competition between battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies, with the success of electrification hinging on the development of more robust grids.

Furthermore, the emergence of new types of collaborations, such as green shipping corridors involving energy companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), logistics firms, and end customers like retailers, reflects a growing need for integrated and sustainable approaches across the value chain.

In a separate development, German logistics company Schenker has anticipated a surge in demand for air transport in the coming weeks due to the Red Sea crisis, underscoring the interconnectedness of global events and their impact on the logistics industry. The Red Sea crisis has already led to disruptions in world trade, prompting shipping companies to consider alternative routes to avoid the affected waters.

The logistics sector is undergoing a sea change in sustainability, with a growing emphasis on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to drive environmental and operational improvements. As the industry grapples with these transformative shifts, the recent funding secured by D-Orbit underscores the increasing significance of space logistics and the broader evolution of the logistics landscape.

The news of D-Orbit's successful funding round reflects the dynamic nature of the logistics industry, characterized by ongoing technological advancements, sustainability imperatives, and the interplay of global events. As companies like D-Orbit continue to innovate and expand their capabilities, the broader logistics sector is poised to undergo significant transformations, with implications for various stakeholders across the value chain.

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