LOGAN, Utah — HawkEye 360, a company building a constellation of radio-frequency data satellites, raised $70 million in Series B financing, the Herndon, Virginia, company announced Aug. 6 at the Small Satellite Conference here.
With $70 million from the latest funding round and more than $30 million raised previously, HawkEye 360 has enough money to complete construction and launch six satellite clusters, John Serafini, HawkEye 360 CEO and co-founder, told SpaceNews. Each cluster includes three satellites flying in formation to geolocate the origin of RF signals.
Investors and entrepreneurs consider Series B funding an important threshold for any startup.
“A lot of companies can find access to Seed and Series A funding,” Serafini said. “Beyond Series A, companies have to prove they can execute on their business plans, build their infrastructure and achieve what they’ve promised.”
HawkEye 360 launched its first three-satellite cluster in December. The company completed satellite commissioning in February and rolled out its first RF signal mapping product, RFGeo, in April. RFGeo is designed to help customers identify and geolocate maritime VHF radio channels, marine emergency distress beacons and vessel Automatic Identification System signals.
HawkEye 360 plans to launch its second satellite cluster in early 2020, said Adam Bennett, HawkEye e 360 product marketing director. “After that, we will rapidly build and launch four more clusters,” Bennett told SpaceNews.
HawkEye 360’s Series B round attracted new investors Airbus and Esri as well as additional funding from existing investors including Razor’s Edge Ventures, Allied Minds and Shield Capital Partners.
“We are joining the funding of HawkEye 360 at an important time in their growth,” Evert Dudok, Airbus Defence and Space executive vice president of communications, intelligence and security, said in a statement. “Analytics from space is a game-changer for the industry and HawkEye 360’s satellite data are highly complementary to Airbus’ global portfolio of optical and synthetic aperture radar satellites. Therefore, we believe our investment will support accelerating their plans and be of mutual business benefit to our companies in the future.”
Serafini was equally enthusiastic about the new relationship, saying in a statement that having Airbus as an investor “provides exceptional access to European markets.”
Mark Spoto, chairman of HawkEye 360’s board of directors and Razor’s Edge managing director at Razor’s Edge, said in a statement, “The capital markets are now determining the leaders of the emerging commercial space marketplace.” HawkEye 360 attracted Series B financing due to its leadership, hardworking team and accomplishment of major milestones, he added.