Audacy, a Silicon Valley startup planning a commercial space data relay constellation, opened its first office in Mountain View, California, in 2015. Credit: Audacy.

SAN FRANCISCO – Customers for Audacy, a Silicon Valley startup, have signed memoranda of understanding to spend more than $100 million annually on the company’s proposed inter-satellite data relay network, Audacy announced Oct. 2.

“Achieving $100 million in pre-service agreements has exceeded our original projections by a significant margin and clearly validates that Audacy’s value proposition of always-on connectivity is a much-needed solution,” Sreesh Reddy, Audacy business development head, said in a statement.

Audacy plans to send satellites into medium Earth orbit in 2020 to provide data relay services for satellites, human spaceflight missions and launch vehicle operators. The Mountain View, California, company has raised about $11.1 million to date, Reddy said by email.

Audacy tracks MOUs by annual contract value, meaning if all the MOUs turn into firm contracts, the overall value of each customer’s business would be much higher than $100 million because “anyone using our system would use it over the life of their spacecraft, which can be as long as ten plus years,” Reddy said.

Audacy is not revealing the companies that have signed the MOUs, saying only that they span the globe and cover a wide range of space applications, including Earth observation, Internet-of-Things and broadband constellations, launch vehicles and deep space missions. More than half of the firms signing the non-binding agreements are based in the United States. The rest are split between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, India, Australia and Singapore, according to the announcement. “Audacy’s biggest growth has been in Asia-Pacific,” it adds.

Audacy is constructing two ground stations, which it plans to begin operating in April 2019. One is near the firm’s Mountain View headquarter. The second is in Singapore, where Audacy opened an office last year.

In August, the firm announced the Audacy Alliance, a network of companies that plan to build compatible components, resell communications capacity on Audacy’s network and refer customers. In June, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission granted Audacy a spectrum license.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...