Morpheus Space Raises $28M To Open New Factory in Germany

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Morpheus Space Raises $28M To Open New Factory in Germany
Courtesy of Morpheus Space

Morpheus Space, a Downtown Los Angeles startup that makes electric propulsion systems and software to aid small satellite launchers in managing their vast constellations of devices in space, raised $28 million in Series A funding to expand its operations to Europe and expand manufacturing Sept. 14.


The Series A was led by Munich-based venture capital firm Alpine Space Ventures. According to PitchBook, Morpheus Space is Alpine’s first U.S.-based investment. The connection to Germany is fitting, as Morpheus Space CEO and co-founder Daniel Bock said the company is planning on opening a factory in Dresden.

Morpheus will also use the funding to expand its team, with the goal of reaching 100 employees within the next year. Currently the company employs 45 people in the U.S. and Germany – it operates one existing factory in Dresden. “Although demand has dramatically improved, the company still runs a small, tight knit operation of mostly engineers and software developers,” a spokesman said in a statement.

Small satellite launches are booming now. We can expect more launches as companies look to take advantage of the fact that they’re faster and cheaper to develop. According to a report from Aerospace America, over 1,100 small satellites were sent into space last year alone.

Elon Musk’s Starlink is one of the leaders of this charge; Starlink plans to send 12,000 small satellites into low earth orbit on SpaceX crafts by 2024, and is already well on the way to doing so (it plans to send another 54 internet satellites into space on a Falcon 9 rocket by Sept. 14).

With all these pieces of highly expensive tech floating around in orbit, it’s becoming more critical that companies develop infrastructure, both hardware and software, to manage their trajectories and avoid disasters. One firm with a related mission is Slingshot Aerospace, which just began offering a free version of its Slingshot Beacon platform (basically an air traffic control system for space) to operators.

According to Slingshot’s space object tracking database, there are currently over 9,800 satellites orbiting the globe today. By 2030, that number is expected to climb to at least 115,000. Morpheus wants to “future-proof” its factories now so that it can be prepared to meet growing demand.

Morpheus Space has raised $33 million since its 2018 launch, president István Lőrincz told dot.LA. The company also received a $90,000 NASA grant in 2019 as one of seven companies that entered the space agency’s Entrepreneur’s Challenge program to stimulate innovations in technology that could support future government satellite missions.

“While we operate in the same ‘space,’ our technologies are different in their purpose. In layman's terms, Slingshot is the proximity sensor that beeps when you're backing up your car,” Lőrincz said. “It tells you how close you are to hitting something and provides recommendations to avoid the curb. At Morpheus, while we do provide software that works in tandem with our offerings, we mainly provide hardware that act as the brakes and acceleration that actually move the car away from the curb, and we do it autonomously without the need for human intervention.”

Sherman Oaks-based VC Morpheus Ventures – which, oddly, isn’t affiliated with Morpheus Space other than being an investor – joined the round, as did existing investors Techstars Ventures, Munich-based Vsquared Ventures, Lavrock Ventures, Airbus Ventures, In-Q-Tel and Pallas Ventures.

“The industry has seen significant growth in the last few years, unlike anything we’ve experienced before, and it has presented numerous opportunities for Morpheus to succeed and grow. However, we’ve also seen with our competitors how it presents multiple challenges and lost opportunities for those that cannot keep up,” Morpheus CEO and co-founder Daniel Bock said in a statement. “Both the blessings and problems associated with the space industry right now can be attributed to scalability,” he added, implying that with growth spurts also come growing pains.

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🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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