Delian Asparouhov, Varda

Delian Asparouhov is an investor with Founders Fund and a co-founder of space manufacturing startup, Varda.

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For several years, Delian has invested alongside Keith Rabois, first at Khosla Ventures and now at Founders Fund. In our discussion, we spoke about Varda, a company with a bold mission to build factories in space where novel products can be developed in a zero-gravity environment. Beyond venture capital, Asparouhov’s ambitions and fascinations lie in the commercialization of space.

Delian partnered with Will Bruey, a former Space-X engineer to found Varda. Bruey’s background is deeply technical with experience in building and operating spacecraft for over a decade. Bruey was a hardware engineer on the Crew Dragon, head of mission control on 8 of the ISS missions, and has dealt with the design and construction of spacecraft for Space-X.

The concept of a space factory may seem futuristic, but Delian breaks down the research that reveals the immense potential of space manufacturing and how he and Bruey are de-risking this endeavor. Research projects have shown the benefits of manufacturing in zero gravity across drug discovery, semiconductors, and fiber optic cables. In one example, human organ 3D-Printing on Earth is complex and costly. Organs are printed with thin walls and gravity makes the walls collapse. In Space, this technical challenge is lifted by operating in a microgravity environment. Varda aims to build factories where the laws of physics are entirely different than factories on Earth, where every manufacturing process is predicated on operating in a gravity field.

When Varda factories are operational, Delian envisions a future of a low orbit economy in space with Gas Depots, Space Taxis/Tugs, Space Tourism, and Varda supporting the development and manufacturing of cancer drugs, 3D Organs, semiconductors, and more.

Varda raised a $9m round with Josh Wolf of Lux Capital, Trae Stephens of Founders Fund, and Naval Ravikant.

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