Space entrepreneur Max Polyakov acquires South Africa’s Dragonfly satellite maker

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Max Polyakov, an ultra-wealthy entrepreneur with ambitions of building a space transportation empire, has acquired South African satellite maker Dragonfly Aerospace, he told Reuters.

The deal gives Polyakov an anchorpoint in the booming but fiercely competitive market for small-satellite technology, and a potential revenue source for rocket maker Firefly Aerospace, which is majority-owned by Polyakov’s Noosphere Ventures investment fund.

He declined to disclose the value of the deal, which closed earlier this month. It has not been previously reported. An announcement is expected on Tuesday.

“This deal gives us cost-control and mass production of components,” Polyakov told Reuters by phone. “It allows us to bring everything in-house.”

The acquisition comes amid a frenzy of capital infusions and blank-check deal-making around a new breed of firms building miniaturized launch systems to cash in on the exponential growth of compact satellites needing a ride to orbit in the coming years.

Texas-based Firefly is seeking to raise up to $350 million in multiple tranches over 12 months as part of a plan to expand production and bring to market its higher-capacity Beta rocket, two people familiar with the matter said.

via Reuters