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SAR Startup Capella Space Raises $60 Million from New U.S Innovative Technology Fund

By Calvin Biesecker | January 11, 2023

The Pantanal tropical wetlands, which span Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Capella Space image, captured April 14, 2021.

Capella Space on Tuesday said it has raised more than $60 million in new funding it will put toward new expanding its next-generation of radar satellites and new data products as customer demand for satellite Earth imaging continues to grow.

The funding round comes from the U.S Innovative Technology Fund and follows a $97 million Series C financing round for Capella in April 2022. U.S. Innovative Technology Fund is a new fund led by Chairman Thomas Tull, who founded Legendary Entertainment, which produced “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen.”

Capella currently provides its commercial satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery to a number of government customers, including the National Reconnaissance Office. The SAR satellites can capture Earth images in all weather conditions and day and night.

“Demand for reliable Earth observation data is at an all-time high, and Capella Space has proven it is leading the market with the highest resolution, highest quality SAR imagery commercially available,” Chad Cohen, who recently joined Capella as its chief financial and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “The company is at an important inflection point in its growth, and this capital will set Capella Space up well to expand into new markets.”

Capella calls its new satellites Acadia, which will be built at its facilities in California and Colorado. The company said the Acadia spacecraft will deliver higher resolution imagery, have increased image capacity, and deliver images to customers faster.

The new funding will also be used to expand Capella’s automated, intelligence analytics from the company’s on-demand tasking platform.

Capella said it has tripled sales since 2021 and grown its headcount by more than 50% in that time. In 2023, the company plans to further grow its sales and marketing efforts and pursue new business lines.

In addition to Cohen, Capella announced two more new members of its executive team. Glen Elliot is the company’s first chief human resources officer and Paul Stephen is the company’s new chief information security officer.

This article was first published by Via Satellite sister publication Defense Daily.