Spaceflight Industries has secured $18 million of Series B financing led by technology growth investor Mithril Capital Management of San Francisco, in a round that is expected to raise up to $25 million. The company also announced the acquisition of Herndon, Virginia-based OpenWhere, Inc. to further enhance and execute on its BlackSky geospatial data platform for satellite imagery.
Previous investors in Spaceflight Industries, including RRE Venture Capital, Vulcan Capital and Razor’s Edge Ventures, all reinvested in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $53.5 million. As part of the financing, Ajay Royan, co-founder and managing general partner of Mithril, has joined the Spaceflight Industries Board of Directors.
Initially launched in June 2015, the BlackSky geospatial data platform will deliver near real-time images of the planet to customers at a price unmatched in the industry. With a planned constellation of 60 imaging satellites orbiting the Earth, BlackSky has the ability to pass over key zones hourly—not daily or weekly—making the images fresher to provide a more comprehensive story. BlackSky is on track to deploy six satellites by 2017 and to complete the 60-satellite imaging constellation by 2020. The first two Pathfinder satellites will launch this year as key demonstration models for the platform.
In April, BlackSky announced an agreement with the United Nations to leverage the information collected from satellite images to enhance global decision making and support country-level initiatives. Together, the partnership teams United Nations Institute for Training and Research and BlackSky will explore how imaging can be applied to humanitarian relief, human security, climate change adaptation, sustainable water management, territorial management, high priority peace-keeping missions, monitoring of illegal maritime activity, and more.
Furthermore, Spaceflight is the first launch services provider to be awarded a GSA Schedule Contract which enables federal agencies to quickly and easily secure small satellite launch contracts completely online at a pre-negotiated fixed rate. This in turn reduces administrative costs and overhead and potentially increases how frequently the agencies access space.
"Half a century ago, the photograph Earthrise gave humanity a breakthrough view of our planet,” said Royan, adding that by assisting partners to easily place advanced hardware in the sky and bring pixels back to Earth, and by making space data intuitive to access, Spaceflight has built a breakthrough platform that will take worldview to the next level. "The company doesn’t just make space technology, it makes space technology efficient and easy to use. Its space-as-a-service infrastructure lowers the activation energy for all space innovators, from launch to analysis, making Spaceflight the lynchpin of the emerging space ecosystem."
Jason Andrews, CEO of Spaceflight Industries, added that the additional financing will help the company execute on additional strategic initiatives, including this acquisition of OpenWhere, which vastly expands the community of who can benefit from monitoring Earth in near real time to all commercial industries, academics, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
Dawdle Not... SmallSat Symposium Dates Set For 2017
Within the smallsat community, those who hesitate in preparing and planning their next business moves within such a dynamic environment could well be "left behind."
To assist in acquiring the knowledge and expertise to enter and/or continue the acquisition of technology and product to become a successful smallsat actor, Satnews Publishers is delighted to announce that the SmallSat Symposium workshops will be held on February 6 and the conference will be conducted from February 7 to February 8, 2017, at the Computer History Museum, which is located at 1401 North Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View, California.
A veritable "Who's Who" of subject-matter experts have already committed to presentations during this impact-filled symposium... the accepted speakers to date include...
- Chad Anderson, Managing Director Space Angels Network
- Jason Andrews, CEO Spaceflight Industries David A. Anhalt, Vice President and General Manager Iridium PRIME
- Chris Baugh, President NSR - Northern Sky Research
- Peter Beck, CEO & CTO Rocket Lab
- Dr. Sami BenAmor, Director of Marketing Thales Alenia Space
- John Booher, Partner Hogan Lovells
- Dr. Sean Casey, Managing Director Silicon Valley Space Center
- Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner The Tauri Group
- Craig Clark, Founder Clyde Space Ltd.
- Mike Collett, Founder and Managing Partner Promus Ventures
- James Crawford, Founder and CEO Orbital Insight
- Randy Culver, CEO AMERGINT Technologies
- Stuart Daughtridge, Senior VP Advanced Technology Kratos
- Dr. Lars Dyrud, CEO OmniEarth
- Dr. Shahin Farshchi, Partner Lux Capital
- Dr. Jenny Gautier, Director of Commercial Programs The Aerospace Corporation
- Dr. Steve Goldberg, CEO & Co-Founder Venrock
- David Hartshorn, Secretary General GVF - Global VSAT Forum
- Susan J. Irwin, President Irwin Communications, Inc.
- John P. Janka, Partner Latham & Watkins LLP
- Adam Keith, Managing Director Euroconsult Canada
- Debra Facktor Lepore, VP and GM of Strategic Operations Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp
- Tony Lin, Counsel, Washington, DC Hogan Lovells
- Dr. Clare Martin, Vice President of Programs Surrey Satellite Technology US
- Clayton Mowry, President Arianespace
- Carlos Niederstrasser, Business Development & Special Initiatives Orbital ATK
- Sunil Nagaraj, Vice President of Marketing and Communications Bessemer Venture Partners
- Dara A. Panahy, Partner Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
- Will Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects Virgin Galactic
- Dr. Alex Saltman, Senior Vice President GeoOptics Inc.
- Randy S. Segal, Partner, Co-Lead Satellite Practice Hogan Lovells
- David Strobel, CEO and Program Manager (PM) Space Micro
- Chris Stott, Chairman & CEO (PM) ManSat
- Tom Stroup, President SIA - Satellite Industry Association
- Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Founder and Executive Chairman Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
- Stig-Are Thrana, U.S. Sales Director and Head of Kongsberg Silicon Valley Office Kongsberg Satellite Services
- Dr. Joe Thurgood, Vice President Corporate Development and Marketing Hera Systems
- Dr. Marco Villa, President & COO Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
- Tony Wilkey, Senior Vice President AvL Technologies
- Bruce Yost, Project Manager NASA Ames Research Center
- Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)
Here's some particularly good news for interested parties — the first 100 registrants will qualify for a $200 discount on the standard event admission... take advantage of this offer... don't dawdle... and register now at this direct link.