Terran Orbital, a leader in small satellites, goes public on NYSE; Early investor Fuel VC celebrates an exit

South Florida space-tech company Terran Orbital is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LLAP” at an IPO valuation of $1.8 billion. Miami-based Fuel Venture Capital partners Jeff Ransdell and Maggie Vo were there to celebrate their portfolio company, as Terran Orbital’s CEO rang the opening bell.

Founded in 2013, the Boca Raton-based Terran Orbital is a pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions. Its customers include NASA, the U.S. Defense Department, and satellite and internet communications provider EchoStar, among others. Terran, through its unit PredaSAR, is developing its own constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites that could do things like monitor conflict zones for the military or track vessels for big shipping companies and plans to launch the constellation in the coming year. The company also recently announced it is building a $300 million commercial spacecraft and constellation facility on the Space Coast. Terran went public through a SPAC combination with Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp.

“We are well-positioned to accelerate our growth strategy as a result of this business combination,” said Marc Bell, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Terran Orbital. “The capital raised through this transaction along with our new access to the public markets will enable us to continue to expand upon our manufacturing capabilities and launch one of the most advanced earth observation constellations of small satellites on the planet.”

Most recently, Terran was awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to provide three microsatellite class satellites, launch procurement, integration, and operations in support of product demonstration. What’s more, its groundbreaking technologies were put to use in real time, providing cruicial strategic assistance” and “critical data and images of RU troop movement,” the Defense of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government agency in charge of defense, recently Tweeted.

In 2021, Terran Orbital became the parent company to PredaSAR, to which Fuel initially invested in and led a $25 million seed financing round. PredaSAR is building and will operate the world’s largest and most advanced commercially operated Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite constellation.

“Today marks another milestone in Fuel Venture Capital’s growth journey and the South Florida tech ecosystem. This is a South Florida-based company funded by a South Florida-based Venture Capital Firm. We are excited not only for Terran Orbital but for our investors and our entire South Florida ecosystem,” said Ransdell, Fuel founding partner and managing director. “There is more to come.”

Since launching in 2017, Fuel has deployed over $400 million in assets under management across multiple funds. The firm has deployed $96 million to South Florida-based companies alone, including Taxfyle, Novopayment, Instabet, RecargaPAY, Bolt Mobility, Ubicquia and AEXLab, in addition to Terran Orbital/PredaSAR.

The photo at the top of this post of the ringing of the opening bell at the NYSE for Terran Orbital’s first day of trading on Monday morning was provided by Fuel Venture Capital. Jeff Ransdell of Fuel Venture Capital is on the right; Terran Orbital CEO Marc Bell is at center.