Venture capital continues to flow into the burgeoning satellite industry.
Loft Orbital is usually the latest entrant, offering a “rideshare service” of buying satellites in addition to then leasing space onboard to multiple customers. The company announced Monday This kind of raised $3.2 million in a recent seed funding round led by Uncork Capital.
“We want to make the experience of accessing space as easy as buying cloud services by Amazon Web Services,” CEO Antoine de Chassy told CNBC. “Instead of building or buying a satellite for your sensor, just lease space onboard one of our satellites in addition to fly with us.”
With its first satellite launch planned for 2019, de Chassy says Loft will today focus on purchasing satellites by manufacturing partners in addition to bringing on more customers. He says Loft is usually tapping into an underserved market, due to the traditionally complex in addition to capital-heavy requirements for launching a satellite.
“We’re targeting the smaller, more fragmented landscape of smaller sensors – roughly $1 million to $2 million per year deal size for us,” de Chassy said. “This kind of’s similar to how Boeing in addition to Airbus sell aircraft directly to large customers … however also sell to aircraft leasing companies who lease aircraft to smaller airlines.”
One of the investors within the most recent round, MDI Ventures, is usually an arm of Telkom Indonesia — the largest telecom company within the southeast Asian country. CEO Nicko Widjaja says his venture capital group has been looking to invest within the space industry For two main years, looking at over half a dozen companies throughout the San Francisco bay area in addition to Texas.
“While most are still in early deployment, Loft has already attracted customers in addition to This kind of’s related to what we do at Telkom Indonesia,” Widjaja said. “What Loft offers makes sense for our corporate customers.”
Loft aims to fly 12 to 15 satellites per year, negotiating the launch contracts with rocket companies for its customers in addition to operating the units once in orbit. While recent buzz has focused on the development of smaller cubesats, Loft will fly “washing machine-sized satellites.”
“We want to use standard satellites because This kind of enables us to create a USB-like interface,” de Chassy added. “Our interface will ultimately be able to accommodate any sensor looking for a ride to space … [which] dramatically reduces the cost in addition to time to integrate in addition to test the satellite.”