Fleet Space Technologies has raised another $50m, valuing the company at north of $350m
The Australian | May 24, 2023
Fleet Space Technologies has raised another $50m from high profile investors, valuing the company at more than $350m, as it rolls out its space-based mineral discovery technology around the world.
The Adelaide-based nanosatellite company now has more than 30 clients, including Rio Tinto and Barrick Gold Corporation, which are using its Exosphere technology to help find mineral deposits.
The Exosphere system uses ground-based sensors which pick up on ambient noise in the atmosphere, with that data then relayed to nanosatellites in orbit.
The company says this data can then be interpreted to identify sub-surface mineral deposits, speeding up their discovery and helping better target later-stage exploration such as drilling.
The recent Series C funding round was led by existing investor Blackbird Ventures, while Grok Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Hostplus also participated in the round.
New investors in the company in the current round included TelstraSuper and Bondi Partners.
Fleet said on Tuesday that more than 100 mineral surveys had been completed using the Exosphere technology globally, and chief executive and co-founder Flavia Tata Nardini said the company now had a strong revenue stream.
“Since the launch of Exosphere, our groundbreaking product, we have achieved an impressive milestone of reaching $28m in contracted revenues within a year, deploying customers in every continent of the world,’’ Ms Tata Nardini said.
“This exceptional growth in revenue, coupled with our robust customer acquisition, has been a driving force behind our successful Series C round.
“We are believers that space-enabled data in exploration will allow the search for critical minerals to speed up so much that we will be able to reach humanity’s targets for net zero.’’
The company said the data collected using the Exosphere system was interpreted using artificial intelligence and machine learning “to produce new analytics products for exploration teams’’.
“Fleet’s road map for these products includes predictive drill targeting models, lithology models and other multi-physics models giving exploration teams greater certainty, faster,’’ the company said.
“In parallel, the company is also iterating its Geode ground sensors to make them smaller, lighter, and capable of acquiring multiple data types simultaneously to further enhance the insights Exosphere can deliver.’’
Fleet also recently secured a contract with Australia’s Defence Space Command, which will involve its commercial satellites being used to develop and demonstrate a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications system.
Blackbird Ventures partner Niki Scevak said the Exosphere product was “game changing’’.
“The company’s strong traction and sales during this time build on the team’s technical leaps forward, and Flavia’s magical ability to bring people together and make things happen,’’ Mr Scevak said.
“We are honoured to have invested in Fleet from its earliest days, and with this fundraise deepen our conviction in the company’s future.”
Fleet last raised capital in 2021, raising $US26.4m at a valuation of $US126m.