Smallspark pulls in funding

Smallspark, a UK-based space services company, has secured 1.1 million pounds in funding.

Smallspark, a UK-based space services company, has secured 1.1 million pounds in funding. The investors include Research England and UKRI.


SmallSpark Space Systems Limited (also known as S4) has today announced the closure of a significant overfunding of its recent seed round; securing a commitment for an additional £1.1m investment on top of the £500k the company raised late last year, and £205k of additional research funding from multiple partners including Research England and UKRI.

This brings the total capital the company has raised for its technologies in the last 18 months to £2.2m, led by Deepbridge Capital and Welsh Government co-funding.
Smallspark, which aims to deliver sub-30-day lead times for both suborbital and orbital launch services, for defence and commercial applications, will use the additional capital to further mature its atmospheric and vacuum propulsion technologies (S4-Hive & S4-NEWT), along with its AI-powered design acceleration technology suite, moore.Ai.

The moore.Ai Design Suite, which is now available for use, consists of a growing ecosystem of technologies designed to accelerate the engineering design process boasts multi-objective, multi-physics geometry optimisation and neutral net physics acceleration capabilities

The news comes as Smallspark formally announces its intentions to build a South Wales based Propulsion Test Facility, to enable the company to, soon, conduct tests for its prototype orbital scale S4-Hive engine, which is powered by Liquid Oxygen and the company’s proprietary fuel.

In addition to enabling the company to invest further in its technology development, the capital has allowed Smallspark to grow its leadership, including the imminent appointment of a Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Information Technology.

Smallsparks S4-Hive engine is a common architecture between its Frost Micro suborbital launch vehicle (2023) and the first stage of its Frost One (2025/6) vehicle, enabling the company to begin gaining flight heritage from its first suborbital flight.

Joe Ward, CEO and Founder at Smallspark, commented:
“This latest funding is not only validation of what we are doing at Smallspark, but also highlights the acceleration of the space industry in Wales. I am particularly pleased to welcome new members to the Smallspark management team, as we enter the next stage of our development and commercialisation. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to build the first rocket test facility in Wales, which will be a significant milestone for our industry.”

Adrian Neilan, Technology Investment Director at Deepbridge Capital, added:
“Smallspark represents the type of highly innovative and growth-focused company that the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to support. Joe and the team are highly impressive individuals and have big plans for the development of their technology; we are delighted to be continuing to support them on this journey via the Deepbridge Technology Growth EIS fund. The UK space sector continues to punch above its weight internationally and we are excited to be supporting one of the leading early-stage companies developing pioneering technologies.”