A artist's illustration of the company's space station in orbit. Axiom Space
Houston-based Axiom Space is going full tilt into scaling production of private space stations, while also flying paying passengers on trips to orbit, with the company announcing Tuesday it received $130 million in a new round of funding.
"This round lets us go make a major payment in the build of our [space station] module and lets us build up the team, which we've been expanding at just a crazy pace," Axiom President and CEO Michael Suffredini told CNBC.
Axiom declined to comment specifically on its valuation, but Suffredini said the company is now "well past the point" of becoming a unicorn, meaning its valuation has surpassed $1 billion. This puts Axiom among the 10-most valuable private U.S. space companies.
The company's latest funding round was led by C5 Capital and was joined by Declaration Partners — which is backed by The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein — and by TQS Advisors, Moelis Dynasty Investments, Washington University in St. Louis, The Venture Collective, Aidenlair Capital, Hemisphere Ventures and Starbridge Venture Capital.
Rob Meyerson, operating partner at C5 and former Blue Origin president, will also join Axiom's board.
"Axiom Space is a force in the space sector, and it will become a centerpiece of the C5 Capital portfolio and enhance our vision for a secure global future," Meyerson said in a statement.
Suffredini noted that C5 approached Axiom about leading the round in June. However, it took through December to get the funding round done as some investors struggled with "getting the money together."