Relativity Space Soars, Reportedly Landing a $500M Investment

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

Relativity Space Soars, Reportedly Landing a $500M Investment

Relativity Space raised $500 million to help it build its 3D rocket ships in a round led by Tiger Global Management, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

The raise, one of the largest this year for a Los Angeles startup, would reportedly value the company at $3.2 billion and put the region at the center of a new wave of high-value space companies.

Earlier this year, Hawthorne-headquartered SpaceX raised $1.9 billion at a reported $46 billion valuation.

Neither Relativity nor Tiger Global could be reached for comment.

Relativity was created by two twenty-somethings and seeks to revolutionize spaceflight by building the world's first 3D-printed rocket with its first iteration called Terran 1. The process is cheaper than traditional manufacturing and CEO and co-founder Tim Ellis, an alum of the Jeff Bezos-led space company Blue Origin, aims to eventually automate rocket-making on Mars.

Relativity has picked up steam recently landing a contract with Lockheed Martin to build 3D projectiles for an experimental NASA mission to test cryogenic fluid management capabilities, key to establishing a sustainable presence on the moon and sending crewed missions to Mars. And in June it struck a deal with the U.S. Air Force's 30th Space Wing to develop rocket launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Last year the company closed a $140 million Series C round led by Bond and Tribe Capital in October. Relativity is also backed by investors Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital, and Mark Cuban.

Those funds helped build a new headquarters in Long Beach where the company is likely to expand the development of the Terran 1. It comes months after co-founder Jordan Noone resigned as chief technology officer and became an executive advisor in what he said was preparation for starting another venture.

Editor's note: dot.LA co-founder Spencer Rascoff is an investor in Relativity Space.

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Venture Firm Backstage Capital Laid Off Nine Employees, Reducing Its Staff to Just Three

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Venture Firm Backstage Capital Laid Off Nine Employees, Reducing Its Staff to Just Three
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Venture firm Backstage Capital laid off nine employees, reducing its staff to just three.

Managing partner and founder Arlan Hamilton announced the layoffs Sunday on her “Your First Million” podcast. General partners Christie Pitts and Brittany Davis, along with Hamilton, are the only remaining employees, TechCrunch reported. The move comes only three months after the Los Angeles-based firm said it would only fund existing portfolio companies.

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A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis
Courtesy of Brella

The pandemic exacerbated a problem that has been long bubbling in the U.S.: the childcare crisis.

According to a survey of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers conducted by the city’s WiSTEM Los Angeles program and shared exclusively with dot.LA, the pandemic exposed a slew of challenges across STEM fields. The survey—which consisted of 181 respondents from L.A.County and was conducted between March 2021 and 2022— involved respondents across medical fields, technical professions and science industries who shared the pandemic’s effects on their professional or education careers.

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“Talent Is Ubiquitous; Access to Capital Is Not': MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Early-Stage Startups

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

“Talent Is Ubiquitous; Access to Capital Is Not': MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Early-Stage Startups
Courtesy of MaC Venture Capital

While venture capital funding has taken a hit this year, that hasn’t stopped MaC Venture Capital from raising $203 million for its second fund.

The Los Angeles-based, Black-led VC firm said Monday that it had surpassed its initial $200 million goal for the fund, which dot.LA reported in January, over the span of seven months. MaC said it expects to invest the capital in up to 50 mostly seed-stage startups while remaining “sector-agnostic.”

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