UK startup Open Cosmos has secured $50 million in funding to develop sustainable low-earth orbit satellites and a comprehensive system for managing the data collected by these satellites. The aim is to democratize access to satellite data by allowing multiple organizations to use single satellites or constellations of satellites and share the data they collect.
Open Cosmos, founded by three aerospace engineers from Spain, has been in operation since 2015 and has already gained recognition in the industry for successfully launching its first LEO satellite on a shoestring budget. The startup now collaborates with major space agencies, companies like Amazon, and agribusiness firms.
While Open Cosmos’ platform and technology have broad potential applications, the company’s primary focus is on energy and climate monitoring. CEO Rafel Jorda Siquier stated that they only provide their services to organizations committed to positive contributions in these domains. The startup’s satellites are designed to degrade and break up upon re-entry into the atmosphere, leaving no space debris behind.
The funding round is significant not only due to the amount raised but also because of the notable investors involved. The lead investors in the round are ETF Partners, Trill Impact, and A&G. Other investors include Accenture Ventures, Banco Santander/InnoEnergy Climate Tech Fund, IREON, Wille Finance, Claret Capital Partners, Taavet Hinrikus, and Kheng Nam Lee. Open Cosmos plans to leverage its partnerships, particularly with Accenture, to implement and manage sustainability-focused data projects for customers.
This investment comes at a time when startup funding is constrained, with investments in European startups being significantly lower in Q2 of this year compared to the previous year. However, funding for space tech has seen a 120% increase in the first half of 2023 compared to the second half of 2022, partly due to founders postponing fundraising in 2022. Open Cosmos had previously raised around $7 million, making the $50 million funding round a significant milestone for the startup.
With its focus on sustainability and projects related to climate and agriculture, Open Cosmos is positioned to tap into a market segment that is projected to be worth $11.3 billion by 2031. The satellite data collected by Open Cosmos can contribute to understanding climate variables, monitoring natural disasters, and supporting relief efforts. The funding will enable Open Cosmos to make satellite data more accessible and drive advancements in various domains.