IENAI Space’s latest investment round of €3.9 million brings its total funding to €7 million

Space mobility company IENAI Space has successfully raised €3.9 million during its latest funding round. Together with previous investments, this latest round brings the total funding of IENAI to €7 million. The company has secured a number of Spanish investors, which include Inveready, WA4STEAM, DPM, GED Conexo Ventures, and CDTI, a government backed investor that matches private investment.

Early this year, the Spanish NewSpace company passed two major milestones, which according to the company, were fundamental to the funding round.

First, their electric propulsion system “ATHENA” (adaptable thruster based on electrospray powered by nanotechnology), a 0.5U thruster built for satellites between 3kg and 50kg, successfully fired for almost 400 hours. This constitutes the longest firing (independently verified by ESA) of an ionic-liquid electrospray thruster in Europe. The firing test was part of a successful preliminary design review (PDR) with ESA.

IENAI Space ATHENA Module.

ATHENAS’s solid performances were rounded up with received RFQs (request for quotation), worth a total value of €30 million, from renowned European satellite manufacturers. The company expects to start commercial delivery of its thruster by early 2025.

Second, the beta test of their space mobility and mission analysis & design software tool “360”, for which they had around 30 companies join. The company is now on-boarding startups from various incubation and acceleration programs across Europe as part of their “IRIS program”, in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The company will use the investment to accelerate reaching the commercial production stage of its propulsion system, expand its client base for their software tools, and open new facilities to accommodate its growing team.

IENAI also plans to hire additional staff aiming to bring its 22 employees to 30 people this year, filling roles across all departments. To further advance its science and technology development, two new PhDs will also join a current total of seven PhD candidates, supervised by six PhD full-time staff.

IENA’s next step on the road to commercial production is an in-orbit demonstration of their ATHENA propulsion system aboard the Cassini in-orbit demonstration (IOD) and in-orbit verification (IOV) mission, developed under the European Space Agency, with ISISPACE. Cassini is part of a Horizon Europe-funded activity to strengthen the competitiveness of the EU space industry through several novel technology experiments from various providers across Europe for demonstration in low earth orbit (LEO).

Dr. Daniel Pérez Grande, CEO and co-founder of IENAI Space, said:

“The funding result is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the amazing efforts made by our team every single day. It allows us to consolidate the next steps towards commercialization of our core products, which in turn enables us to substantially grow the business. We really can’t wait for our clients to get their hands on ATHENA, our electric propulsion system. It will offer them world-class efficiency, compactness, and customisation options to cater for a wide range of space missions. We’re also very excited for the future of IENAI. In 2024 and 2025 we are expecting to kick-start a number of key collaborations with established players in the market, make progress on our current ESA projects. We’ll also keep maturing and validating our propulsion technologies, and we’ll be starting the development of more novel products for the space mobility market.”

For this, the company plans to expand its current manufacturing and testing facilities across Europe, with clean-room facilities already located in Madrid and Barcelona (Spain) and Uppsala (Sweden), as a result of agreements with CNM-CSIC (Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona) and Uppsala University.

About IENAI Space

IENAI is a space mobility company located in Madrid, Spain. Founded in 2019, the company builds tailored, end-to-end space mobility products and services for the next generation of small satellites, empowering a sustainable new space economy.

The company will provide propulsion modules, deeply customised for each particular platform and mission: from cubesats to microsats; from RAAN-spacing to Earth-Moon transits, or de-orbiting (aimed at containing the issue of space debris). Its versatile propulsion system ATHENA is designed to be highly scalable in specific impulse and thrust. The technology is based on a novel iteration of electrospray thrusters, which boast some of the highest theoretical efficiencies for electric propulsion technologies in the low power range.  In combination with its reduced form factor, this means less propellant on-board, making this technology attractive in constrained volumes. IENAI also offers GO, a free-to-use web-based thruster design tool and 360, a high-fidelity multidisciplinary space mobility and mission analysis & design tool.

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About GED

GED is an independent management firm founded in 1996 that operates in the middle-market segment. It currently manages over 1 billion euros through various Private Equity, Infrastructure, and Venture Capital vehicles. GED gathers more than 500 domestic and international investors, primarily including pension funds, fund of funds, insurance companies, family offices, and financial institutions.

About DPM Finanzas EAF

DPM Finanzas EAF is an independent financial advisory firm founded in 2013. It is regulated by the CNMV and provides exclusively independent advice to family groups, individuals, entrepreneurs, and non-profit institutions. It currently advises on assets exceeding 350 million euros and has a management team with an average of more than 20 years of experience from international financial institutions.


WA4STEAM is a non-for-profit association of women business angels that provide seed capital and support to STEAM start-ups led by women. Its main objective is to increase the number of women business angels and of women entrepreneurs in STEAM, nurturing women future leaders and role models. The broad skill set of its members, its dual approach to investing, driven by socio-economic profitability and technological impact, together with its strong values, make WA4STEAM a unique organization.

About Inveready

Inveready is a leading asset manager in Spain investing in early-stage VC, growth VC, venture debt, strategic public equity, private equity and infrastructure. Inveready’s different strategies allow them to provide financing solutions to companies throughout their life-cycle.