WASHINGTON — Swiss satellite startup Astrocast, formerly named Else, gained an extra $1.1 million in seed financing to help carry the company through the launch of two demonstration satellites for a constellation of Internet of Things-focused cubesats.
Early stage investor Investiere added the capital, which brings the total amount of seed money raised to $4.1 million Swiss Francs ($4.16 million), Astrocast said in a Dec. 14 statement. Airbus Ventures, whose space investments include Japanese ground station services startup Infostellar and space debris monitoring company LeoLabs, led the seed round in August, with other Swiss and international private investors contributing.
Three-year old Astrocast had previously amassed 3 million Swiss Francs in Swiss grants and European Space Agency support for its constellation of 64 cubesats for low data rate L-band communications, bringing its total resources raised to 7.1 million Swiss Francs ($7.2 million). The company, estimates the entire constellation will take less than $50 million to bring into service, including manufacturing and launch.
Dubai-based mobile satellite services provider Thuraya is a partner of Astrocast, providing technical and regulatory assistance as well as joint sales and product marketing.
Spokesperson Julie Fornaro told SpaceNews the first two satellites are launching one on a SpaceX Falcon 9 and another on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, both next year.
Astrocast hopes to close a Series A financing round worth $8 to $10 million dollars next year, Fornaro said.