Kleos Space borrows $3.7 million while awaiting first launch

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WASHINGTON — Radio-frequency-mapping startup Kleos Space on Feb. 18 said it received a 3.4 million-euro ($3.7 million) loan from Dubai-based Winance to keep the company “well funded” while it awaits the launch of its first satellites. 

Luxembourg-based Kleos Space now expects its first cluster of four cubesats to launch in March on an Indian PSLV rocket. The company has waited more than a year to launch the satellites, which were originally booked on a Rocket Lab Electron for a late 2018 flight. 

Kleos Space switched to the PSLV rideshare, arranged through Spaceflight, in August when its Electron flight racked up delays. That PSLV mission has been delayed as well, having originally been planned for late last year. 

The $3.4 million loan from Winance, an investment holding company, will keep Kleos Space “well-funded to execute its commercialisation plans while awaiting revenues from early adopter contracts,” Kleos Space said. 

Kleos Space said it will use the funds to get going on a second, four-satellite cluster, expand internationally and repay earlier loans. 

Andy Bowyer, Kleos Space chief executive, said by email that the company has not selected a manufacturer for its second batch of satellites. “It will remain competitive,” he said. “I am actively encouraging a broad supply base.”

GomSpace built Kleos Space’s first four satellites. 

Bowyer said Kleos Space envisions a constellation of around 40 satellites, all in clusters of four in low Earth orbit. 

Kleos Space is targeting the maritime market, using satellites to geolocate radio-frequency signals from ships that have turned off their Automatic Identification System transponders.