FUNDING GROWTH OF NANOSATELLITE TECHNOLOGY IN THE RAPIDLY EMERGING SPACE SECTOR
EMBARGO: Wednesday 17th November 2021, 0900 AEDT (Sydney, Australia)
ASSETS: All images can be downloaded from here
“This investment secures the long-term sustainable growth of Fleet Space and is a global endorsement of the power of Australia’s rapidly growing Space technology sector. Our Nanosatellite Technology is proven and this capital injection is testament to confidence in our commercial model. We are ready to scale and realise the full potential of IoT technology to secure planet-wide coverage of millions of industrial devices. This will save billions of dollars for organisations in lost value while preserving precious resources and reducing carbon emissions.”
Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Founder, Fleet Space Technologies
Fleet Space Technologies announces that it has secured $26.4m (USD) in investment, valuing the company at $126 million (USD). This represents a major step forward for Fleet Space Technologies, which is committed to creating the world’s most advanced low-power satellite network, securing planet-wide coverage for millions of compatible Internet of Things (IoT) devices by using its in-house Nanosatellite technology. This funding will underpin significant expansion in Fleet Space’s manufacturing footprint and will expand the company’s highly skilled workforce.
The investment, which exceeded the initially targeted $25m (USD) is a clear endorsement of Fleet Space’s vision. The Australian start-up, co-founded by Flavia Tata Nardini and Matt Pearson, has created the most advanced smallsat payload yet delivered to orbit. These smallsat devices, roughly the size of a shoebox, generate ten times more throughput per kilo than larger spacecraft and will support radical new efficiencies for hundreds of industries using IoT. This will transform the ability of companies and institutions to manage and control their remote assets across the world and in real time, 24 hours a day, even in remote areas, where cellular connectivity is not available and where operations are critical.
The investment also represents a firm commitment to Australia’s rapidly emerging space industry, which the Federal Government plans to grow to a $12 billion, ranking the sector among the nation’s fastest growing industries. Its expansion in the region will also create 70 jobs, including many highly desirable science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) positions in the first phase of growth. These roles not only secure a bright future for the country’s technical innovators and critical thinkers, but will support in making Australia a home for innovative solutions that drive positive change on a global scale.
THE APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS OF FLEET SPACE TECHNOLOGY
The International Data Corporation predicts that there will be more than 14 billion connected, low-power devices by 2025. To unlock the full force of efficiencies that lie in the data collected by these devices there must be a network through which this information is gathered and analysed. Only with this information can improvements in products and the way they are used be truly realised.
Fleet Space technology provides this function to businesses big and small through a smallsat satellite-based network. The existing network is made up of six nanosatellites, which were launched to orbit via SpaceX, an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) rocket and twoRocket Lab launches.
Fleet Space’s latest Centauri 4 nanosatellite has been integrated with digital beamforming technology which uses an array of multiple antennas along with cutting edge Digital Signal Processing. This beamforming technology provides a substantial increase in throughput of customer IoT data and can service a higher number of customer portals at once. Integrating this digital beamforming into a nanosatellite which is not much bigger than a loaf of bread, is a world first. Beamforming can also dramatically improve data reliability and security by reducing the impact of interference.
These nanosatellites are combined with ground-based networks, affording industries a cost effective way to benefit from the information of their IoT enabled devices where cellular networks are unavailable..
Through a growing constellation of nanosatellites and proprietary network gateways which harness the LoRaWAN communication protocol…As well as vastly reducing unnecessary carbon emissions, this technology will free organisations of billions of dollars of lost value by leveraging the Internet of Things. The $26.4m investment will increase the size of Fleet Space’s constellation and meet unprecedented demand from more than three million compatible devices registered to join the Fleet Space network.
HOW FLEET SPACE’S TECHNOLOGIES DELIVERS REAL-WORLD BENEFITS:
“Cooling Adelaide” is a community-driven urban greening initiative that saw Fleet Space and South Australian Utility Provider, SA Water collaborate. Its purpose was to encourage the use of cool, green open spaces during the hot summer months, while improving the
efficiency of council irrigation. To do so, Fleet Space created an end-to-end Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution. Firstly, more than 250 soil moisture and air temperature sensors were installed across 17 council-irrigated green spaces. Working in collaboration with TTN (The Things Network), Fleet Space then deployed a hybrid private satellite/public IIoT network.
Data from the sensors was received, transmitted and fused with an interactive mapping visualisation, which was fed back to the SA Water website. Here, the public could track real-time temperatures in their local park, enabling them to choose the coolest space to visit. A combination of Fleet Space’s global nano-satellite transmission technology and the public TTN network provided the connectivity for the IoT devices.
Fleet Space’s Portal gateway (an Edge computing capable IIoT hub) received information from sensors within a 15km radius, and both the sensors and gateway were configured to transmit only the required information for SA Water to publish on their website. This smart end-to-end solution removed the reliance on limited coverage and expensive cellular networks, while providing a highly scalable and affordable solution.
The project demonstrated increased visibility through a variety of environmental monitoring data points, enabling water utilities to conserve supplies – and save thousands of dollars in water usage – while generating a notable increase in green space usage by the public . Additionally, the dataset generated from the project has the potential to positively influence planning models and energy efficiencies.
AUSTRALIA IS AN EMERGING LEADER IN SPACE TECHNOLOGY
Australia was one of the first countries to launch a satellite into space from its home soil, and subsequently its leaders have consistently voiced a requirement for the nation to continue its explorations. Indeed, the nation itself relies heavily on space technology to power the everyday lives of its people – from communication services to Earth observation, navigation purposes and weather forecasting.
In 2019, the Australian federal government announced its ambition to grow the size of the Australian space economy to $12 billion by 2030 and create an additional 20,000 jobs in the field. This ambition is underpinned by the nation’s booming commercial space sector, led by Fleet Space. Beyond nanosat technology, Australia already boasts take-off and landing facilities, commercial rocket launches and a burgeoning space-centric software industry, positioning the nation as a capable, strategic and globally engaged leader in the field.
Homegrown Australian technology is also supporting the wider space industry. Fleet Space is leading the Seven Sisters’ Australian space industry consortium in support of NASA’s Artemis program to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and create a sustainable human presence for later crewed Martian exploration. Commencing in 2023, the Seven Sisters missions are designed to find accessible water and other resources on the moon.
FLEET SPACE LEADS INSTITUTIONAL ENDORSEMENT:
“Fleet Space Technologies have delivered on their promise to unlock the potential of the Internet of Things through their proprietary NanoSatellite technology. We are proud to be part of an ambitious new growth phase that will widen Fleet’s satellite network and more broadly serve critical infrastructure in remote locations.”
Jonathan Meltzer, Partner at Alumni Ventures
The Series B capital raise is underpinned by a balance of new institutional investors and re-investment from existing investors. This is testament to successful execution of Fleet Space’s commercial and technical plans since the company’s Series A. This round is led with follow-on money from Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird Ventures, Grok, and Horizons Ventures with major commitments from new investors including Alumni Ventures, Hostplus, the South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVC) and In-Q-Tel.
“Fleet’s ambition, grit and ability to deliver has impressed us from day one and continues to impress us today. Flavia and the team have shown incredible progress and we’re excited to back their continued growth with this latest round.”
Niki Scevak, Partner at Blackbird
Fleet’s investor base includes major VCs with strong track records backing the rapidly growing space sector. In 2020, Alumni Ventures were recognised as the most active venture capital investor in the US and have backed the space sector heavily with investments in Axiom Space and Capella Space. Blackbird are investors in Gilmour Space. Horizons holds stakes in Relativity Space and Leolabs. Grok are investors in SpaceX.
“The growth of Fleet Space Technology and the successful completion of this funding round is a glowing affirmation of the sustained development of the Australian and South Australian space industry sector. In backing Fleet, the Marshall Liberal Government is supporting the creation of highly-skilled jobs in South Australia and plotting a trajectory towards the Australian Space Agency’s stated aims to build a $12 billion industry by 2030.”
Hon. David Pisoni MP, Minister of Innovation and Skills
Notes to Editors:
FLEET SPACE TECHNOLOGIES:
Fleet Space Technologies is Australia’s leading space company. It operates from a state-of-the-art HQ in Adelaide, South Australia, a region rapidly emerging as a global centre of excellence in space and advanced aerospace technologies. The company has designed, built and launched the country’s only commercial NanoSatellites and has six satellites already in orbit as it works towards a mission towards building a constellation of 140 small satellites in Low Earth Orbit.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS | FLAVIA TATA NARDINI
Flavia Tata Nardini was born and educated in Italy where she completed a Masters Degree in Space Engineering at the University La Sapienza in Rome. Her career in space started as a Propulsion Test Engineer (more commonly known as rocket science) at the European Space Agency (ESA). A stint at TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research followed before taking a senior consulting role at the University of Adelaide in CubeSat Development. Flavia then founded LaunchBox with Matt Pearon with a clear mission to further Australia’s space industry and engage young people in STEM careers. This led to the creation of their second venture together, Fleet Space Technologies, a leader in Australia’s rapidly growing space industry.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS | MATT PEARSON
Matt Pearson is a proven entrepreneur with business interests that span internet ventures, new mobility technologies and his work as co-Founder of Fleet Space Technologies. At Fleet, his role as COO is driving the company towards its mission to realise the potential of NanoSatellite technology to secure planet-wide coverage of millions of Internet of Things industrial devices. Matt was born in South Africa but settled in Sydney, Australia where he founded his first successful internet venture. Since then, he has become a major driver of Adelaide’s emergence as a global centre of excellence in space and advanced aerospace technologies through his roles at Fleet and as a pioneer in the emerging eVTOL sector through the creation of Airspeeder, the world’s first racing series for electric flying racing cars.