Venture Capital: Space Debris And Satellite Tracker LeoLabs Nabs $65M

Space debris poses a huge threat to satellite constellations.

LeoLabs Inc seeks to secure safe and sustainable operations in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) ecosystem by mapping the orbits of spacecraft, satellites and space debris. It’s a daunting task, because there are thousands of satellites, teams of astronauts, and tons of debris in the space surrounding the earth. This floating stuff moves at high speeds and has colossal destructive energy. (CISION PR Newswire)

LeoLabs announced today its $65 million Series B raise jointly led by Insight Partners and existing investor Velvet Sea Ventures. The round means the space startup has raised a total of over $100 million in capital.

Data deficit

The company tracks space objects using ground-based radars such as the Kiwi and Costa Rica space radars. It intends to commence building multiple radar sites this year, ultimately establishing a global constellation of ground-based radars.

“The single greatest challenge to both the sustainability and security threats in LEO is solving the “data deficit”, said Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs CEO. “The number of assets in LEO doubled last year, will double again this year, and is expected to grow 25x in the next five years. LeoLabs is already the largest provider of data for LEO today, and this lead will expand rapidly as we execute on our constellation of radars.”

“The legacy government-built Space Situational Awareness (SSA) infrastructures of the past simply cannot scale to track the new levels of LEO activity, and they have no path to get there. Our market-driven infrastructure is the only viable and scalable way to address this “data deficit,” Ceperley added.

LeoLabs’ services will find increasing demand because of the rapid deployment of new satellite constellations and the billions of dollars of new investment in space-based infrastructure by governments, space agencies, regulators, commercial operators and space insurance.

LeoLabs warns that about 250,000 dangerous pieces of orbital debris have gone untracked by government legacy systems that can no longer keep pace with the growing volume of objects in LEO.

“As the number of private space enterprises and space-faring nations continue to grow, so does the need to track and make transparent the full range of threats to an open space environment,” says the company.

“LeoLabs is uniquely positioned to deliver the data, analytics, and software that government and commercial customers need to understand where satellites and debris are at all times,” said Nick Sinai, Senior Advisor at Insight Partners.

Related Story:  ESA Pioneering Development Of AI-Driven Space Debris-Dodging System

Image Credit: LeoLabs                                                

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