Chevy Chase investment firm combines 4 portfolio companies for new space-related platform

Chevy Chase investment firm Enlightenment Capital on Monday said it is forming a new space-focused platform through the merger of four recent additions to its portfolio.

The new company, called Auria, will deliver specialized capabilities, tailored solutions and commercial software products that support space operations, space domain awareness, orbital warfare training, cybersecurity and satellite communications management, Enlightenment said.

The four companies that will form Auria are aerospace and defense company Boecore, satellite engineering company Ascension Engineering Group, both of Colorado Springs, as well as Greenbelt’s Orbit Logic, an aerospace mission planning and scheduling solutions company, and San Diego cyber firm La Jolla Logic.

Auria will be based in Colorado Springs and count more than 400 employees across its ranks.

Thomas Young, a principal at Enlightenment Capital, said in a statement the new company has the “technology, capabilities and infrastructure of a mid-tier contractor” in the space sector.

Tom Dickson, president of Boecore, will be the president of the combined company.

“The merging of these businesses demonstrates our commitment to strategic M&A in order to broaden our customer base, expand capabilities and drive innovation in support of the fast-changing space mission,” Jason Rigoli, a partner at Enlightenment Capital and chairman of Auria, said in a statement.

In June 2022, Enlightenment closed a $540 million fund, its fourth overall and largest to date. Much like Enlightenment Capital’s previous funds, Fund IV’s focus is on investing in aerospace, defense, government and technology businesses.

Enlightenment, led by Managing Partner Devin Talbott — one of our Power 100 honorees — has a track record of constructing companies in the aerospace, defense and government technology sectors and selling them off. In October 2022, Enlightenment closed its sale of signals intelligence firm EverWatch to McLean technology and management consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in a deal that valued the company at $440 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Enlightenment formed EverWatch in October 2018 out of four previous companies to serve the defense and intelligence market. Just this past September, Enlightenment sold off a New York biometrics company for $41 million less than a year after it had acquired and rebranded it.

The creation of Auria follows news late last year that Enlightenment made an undisclosed investment in Tysons data security firm Ridgeline International Inc.