LeoLabs, a California-based Space Situational Awareness (SSA) startup, has just closed a US$13 million Series A financing round led by Japanese Venture Capital (VC) firm WERU Investment and Airbus Ventures. Other investors include Space Angels and Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures.
The startup’s mission is to secure commercial operations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by tracking space debris and monitoring risk of collisions. With this funding, LeoLabs will expand its network of next-generation radars for tracking small debris and satellites in LEO, and accelerate development of its SSA data platform, which is already accessible to users.
“LeoLabs is stepping up to address both the opportunities and risks in LEO,” said Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs’ CEO. “Our mission is clear: inform, serve and protect LEO. We do this on two fronts, by providing the foundational data for tracking and characterizing objects in LEO, including small debris, and by making this commercial data accessible to the LEO community through our published API and platform. Our funding announcement today is a tangible endorsement of this approach.”
“LeoLabs’ impressive platform vision and deep radar expertise are perfectly timed to address the space debris problem in LEO. There is a universal need for more data among the global space community, and we believe LeoLabs will play a pivotal role in preserving LEO for future generations,” said Dr. Tadashi Takiguchi, President & CEO of WERU Investment.
“We are excited about LeoLabs’ vision and the progress they’ve made on both the radar network and the SSA platform,” said Julien Etaix, Investment Partner at Airbus Ventures in Menlo Park, California. “As new mega-constellations come online in 2019 and new generations of operational and AI-based tools are required, LeoLabs is well-positioned as the logical foundation to serve all these activities.”
Both Airbus Ventures and WERU Investment also invested in Japanese antenna-sharing startup Infostellar last year. The Infostellar Series A round, which raised a total of US$7.3 million, was Airbus Ventures’ first investment in a Japanese space company, and WERU Investment’s first space-related startup.