HawkEye 360 detected increased GPS interference in and around Ukraine in the months leading up to the Russian invasion. Credit: HawkEye 360

WASHINGTON —  HawkEye 360, a commercial operator of remote-sensing satellites, announced July 13 it has raised $58 million in new funding. 

Based in Herndon, Virginia, the company uses radio-frequency data collected by satellites to geolocate electronic emissions and draw insights. 

“The funding will be used to develop new space systems and expand analytics that support high-value defense missions,” HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini said in a news release.

The Series D-1 round was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock with additional funding provided by Manhattan Venture Partners and existing investors including Insight Partners, NightDragon, Strategic Development Fund, Razor’s Edge, Alumni Ventures and Adage Capital.

“We’ll use this funding to drive our next steps in innovation,” Serafini said. “It speaks volumes that these leading investment firms are confident in the future of RF geospatial intelligence as a critical defense technology.”

New ‘Block 3’ satellites planned

The company, founded in 2015, operates a constellation of 21 satellites that detect, characterize and geolocate radio frequency signals from emitters used for communication, navigation and security. The satellites fly in triangular “clusters” in low Earth orbit. 

The new funding will help accelerate the transition to a new Block 3 satellite architecture starting with Cluster 14, the company said. It also plans to increase investments in artificial intelligence, data fusion and multi-intelligence orchestration to better extract value from the large amount of RF data being collected. 

“Governments and commercial customers are asking for better intelligence and, with its full chain of control from orbit to analytics, Hawkeye 360 is leading the way for this new category of RF space-based data,” said Matt Singer, managing director of BlackRock. 

“HawkEye 360 has disrupted what used to be a static defense intelligence domain,” said Jared Carmel, managing partner and general partner of Manhattan Venture Partners. “

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...