20 Soaring Aerospace Startups In 2021

by Josh Howarth - May 21, 2021

As the world explores new frontiers of space and cutting-edge aviation tech, the demand for aerospace solutions is increasing.

In fact, the value of the global aerospace market is set to grow to $430.87 billion by 2025 at a 7% CAGR.

Not only that, there are a total of 1,762 businesses in the global military aircraft and aerospace industry.

We’ve gathered 20 of the best aerospace startups you should keep an eye on in 2021.

1. Boom Supersonic

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5-year search growth: 142%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Englewood, CO

Funding: $241.1M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Boom Supersonic is an aircraft manufacturer that’s building a supersonic airliner called “Overture.” Their goal is to design an aircraft that’s much faster and more sustainable than an average commercial airplane. Boom Supersonic has already partnered with Japan Airlines and the US Air Force.

2. SpaceX

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5-year search growth: 325%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2002

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Funding: $7.5B (Series Unknown)

What they do: SpaceX is a space travel and aerospace manufacturing company. The company builds reusable launch vehicles and communication satellites. SpaceX is the first aerospace venture to use a recycled rocket to send astronauts to space.

3. Accion Systems

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Boston, MA

Funding: $26.5M (Series B)

What they do: A space mobility company, Accion Systems develops propulsion systems. Specifically, they build ion/electric propulsion thrusters for satellites and other space vehicles. According to their website, Accion Systems has partnered with some leading defense and aerospace organizations, including NASA, the US Department of Defense, and Boeing.

4. Voyager Space Holdings

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Denver, CO

Funding: $5.1M (Series A)

What they do: Voyager Space Holdings is an aerospace company that specializes in space exploration technology. They provide different space services and a marketplace for buying and selling aerospace IPs. Voyager Space Holdings currently has 27 customers.

5. Joby Aviation

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5-year search growth: 250%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2009

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Funding: $796M (Corporate Round)

What they do: An aerospace manufacturer, Joby Aviation specializes in electric air mobility. They’re building an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with a capacity for 5 people. Joby Aviation has conducted over 1,000 test flights for their electric aircraft over the last 10 years.

6. Relativity Space

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5-year search growth: 4900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Long Beach, CA

Funding: $685.7M (Series D)

What they do: Relativity Space is an aerospace and 3D printing startup that creates autonomous rockets built from 3D printed components. According to the company, their launch systems can be built and deployed in 60 days, unlike traditional rockets that take several months. In 2019, The World Economic Forum included Relativity Space in its list of Technology Pioneers.

7. CesiumAstro

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Austin, TX

Funding: $28.2M (Debt Financing)

What they do: CesiumAstro develops communications solutions for different aviation and aeronautics products. Their systems are specifically designed for UAVs, satellites, launch systems, and other space vehicles. The company currently has 11 customers, including NASA, Airbus, and the US Navy.

8. Iris Automation

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $23M (Series B)

What they do: An avionics safety provider, Iris Automation creates collision-avoidance systems for drones. They specialize in building detection systems for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight. According to their website, Iris Automation has conducted 14 test programs for their BVLOS solutions worldwide.

9. Astranis

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5-year search growth: 104%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $353.5M (Series C)

What they do: Astranis is an aerospace company that specializes in telecommunication. They are currently building geostationary satellites designed to deliver internet to remote places. Astranis was part of the Y Combinator’s Winter Cohort in 2016.

10. Skydio

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5-year search growth: 4100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Redwood City, CA

Funding: $340M (Series D)

What they do: Skydio manufactures drones powered by artificial intelligence. Their autonomous vehicles use machine learning technology and have been designed to avoid collisions and identify objects. Skydio was selected as one of the most innovative companies (robotics) by Fast Company in 2021.

11. AirMap

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5-year search growth: 28%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Funding: $78.7M (Grant)

What they do: An automation tech company, AirMap provides an unmanned aircraft system traffic management system (UTM) system. Their platform has been designed to make it safer to fly drones. It is estimated that AirMap earns $25M in annual revenue.

12. Universal Hydrogen

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5-year search growth: 571%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Funding: $20.5M (Series A)

What they do: A green aviation startup, Universal Hydrogen is working towards making the zero-emissions commercial flight possible. They plan on doing that by using hydrogen as a clean fuel source. Last year, the company partnered up with Plug Power to develop a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system.

13. Firefly Aerospace

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5-year search growth: 394%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: Cedar Park, TX

Funding: $196.6M (Secondary Market)

What they do: Firefly Aerospace builds space launch vehicles that can carry small payloads. Their products have been designed to make space more accessible for business and research. NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace $93.3 million to deliver payloads to the moon in 2023.

14. Vantage Robotics

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Leandro, CA

Funding: $14.7M (Seed)

What they do: A technology company, Vantage Robotics offers aerial videography solutions. They build ISR drones, ground control stations, and supporting accessories for military and commercial use. According to their website, the company has partnered with the US Air Force, FLIR, and the Defense Innovation Unit.

15. Kairos Aerospace

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Mountain View, CA

Funding: $11.1M (Series C)

What they do: Kairos Aerospace is a data visualization company that leverages aerial monitoring to deliver information. Specifically, they offer technology that helps companies monitor methane emissions. Kairos Aerospace has helped avoid more than 18 million MCF of methane so far.

16. Dash Systems

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5-year search growth: 37%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Funding: $8M (Seed)

What they do: Dash Systems is a tech startup that develops solutions for airdrop deliveries. Their platform is designed to help safely deliver cargo without having to land an aircraft. According to Dash Systems, they can deliver cargo even in the harshest regions.

17. Kawa Space

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5-year search growth: 2000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Mumbai, India

Funding: 600K (Seed)

What they do: A business intelligence company, Kawa Space provides geospatial insights collected from space. As of now, the startup mainly serves the real estate and travel industries. It is estimated that Kawa Space earns up to $5M in annual revenue.

18. Astroscale

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5-year search growth: 116%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Sumida, Japan

Funding: $204.2M (Series E)

What they do: Astroscale is an aerospace company that’s developing orbital debris removal technology. They offer satellite life extension, end-of-life, and active debris removal services. According to their website, Astroscale was named Japan’s startup of the year in 2018 by Forbes Japan.

19. ABL Space Systems

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5-year search growth: 3300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: El Segundo, CA

Funding: $219M (Series B)

What they do: ABL Space Systems is an aerospace startup that develops rockets that launch light payloads. Their launch vehicles are designed to provide low-cost options for customers that want to launch small satellites. The company claims that it only takes $12 million to launch one vehicle.

20. BlackSky Global

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Seattle, WA

Funding: $50M (Debt Financing)

What they do: A satellite-imaging-as-a-service company, BlackSky Global offers geospatial intelligence. They do this by providing real-time analytics collected from space. As of now, BlackSky Global has 5 satellites in orbit.

conclusion

That concludes our list of the fastest growing aerospace startups.

From ventures engaged in geospatial imagery to startups working on sustainable flight technology, this ever-growing industry is quite diverse.

As sustainable aviation and space exploration slowly become necessities, we can expect exciting new startups to emerge in the years to come.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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