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Spaceflight Industries Closes Financing Round, Acquires OpenWhere

By Veronica Magan | June 21, 2016
      BlackSky Global Pathfinder

      A BlackSky Pathfinder spacecraft during final integration. Photo: BlackSky Global

      [Via Satellite 06-21-2016] Spaceflight Industries has secured $18 million of Series B financing led by technology growth investor Mithril Capital Management of San Francisco, in a round that is expected to raise up to $25 million. The company also announced it has acquired Herndon, Virginia-based OpenWhere to further enhance and execute on its BlackSky geospatial data platform for satellite imagery.

      Previous investors in Spaceflight Industries, including RRE Venture Capital, Vulcan Capital and Razor’s Edge Ventures, all reinvested in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $53.5 million. As part of the financing, Ajay Royan, co-founder and managing general partner of Mithril, has joined the Spaceflight Industries board of directors.

      Jason Andrews, CEO of Spaceflight Industries

      Jason Andrews, CEO of Spaceflight Industries. Photo: Spaceflight

      “The additional financing will help us execute on additional strategic initiatives, including this acquisition of OpenWhere. Not only does it further differentiate BlackSky, it vastly expands the community of who can benefit from monitoring our planet in near real time to all commercial industries, academics, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. We welcome them all to join the growing network on the platform,” said Jason Andrews, CEO of Spaceflight Industries.

      Initially launched in June 2015, the BlackSky geospatial data platform will deliver near-real-time images of the planet to customers. With a planned constellation of 60 imaging satellites orbiting the Earth, BlackSky has the ability to pass over key zones hourly — instead of daily or weekly — making the images fresher to provide a more comprehensive story. BlackSky is on track to deploy six satellites by 2017 and complete the 60-satellite imaging constellation by 2020. The first two Pathfinder satellites will launch this year as key demonstration models for the platform.

      “One of our core value propositions is the ease of use of the BlackSky platform and this is where OpenWhere shines,” said Andrews. “Customers are looking for a modern and intuitive system that they can operate with ease to receive high-quality images, and OpenWhere’s platform offers a compelling user experience that reimagines interaction with satellite imaging.”