UK startup Open Cosmos has secured $50 million in funding to develop its sustainable low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites and a comprehensive system for managing the data collected by them. The company, founded in 2015 by three Spanish aerospace engineers, aims to democratize access to satellite technology by offering a platform that allows multiple organizations to share and utilize the same satellite or constellation of satellites. Open Cosmos currently works with space agencies, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), and various companies in sectors such as agriculture and security.
CEO Rafel Jorda Siquier said the company’s primary focus is energy and climate monitoring. Open Cosmos specifically targets organizations that are committed to sustainability, as the company’s satellites degrade and disintegrate upon reentering the Earth’s atmosphere, leaving no debris. The recent funding round, led by ETF Partners, Trill Impact, and A&G, features several notable investors, including Accenture Ventures, Banco Santander, and InQTel, the CIA’s investment arm.
Open Cosmos’s funding is significant given the current climate for startup investment. Startup funding has been constrained worldwide, with Europe experiencing a sharp decline in investment in the second quarter of 2023. However, the space tech sector has seen increased investment, partially due to delayed funding rounds from the previous year. Open Cosmos’s $50 million investment is a significant leap for the startup, which previously raised around $7 million. While the company’s valuation is undisclosed, it has been operationally profitable since 2020.
Open Cosmos focuses on applications in climate and agriculture, with a particular emphasis on sustainability. The company aims to address challenges in measuring climate-related data, such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and polar ice cap melting. Satellites also play a vital role in disaster relief efforts. Open Cosmos estimates that the demand for Earth orbit data will reach $11.3 billion by 2031. The company’s funding will support its expansion and potential partnerships with organizations like Accenture for data projects.
Overall, this investment empowers Open Cosmos to continue developing its sustainable satellite technology and expand its impact in the areas of climate and agriculture.