open cosmos
Open Cosmos says it can build and launch cubesats in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost, of other companies through the use of standardized hardware and software. Credit: Open Cosmos

Colorado Springs — Open Cosmos, a British startup planning to manufacture and operate inexpensive cubesats, announced April 18 it raised $7 million in Series A funding in an investment round led by London-based BGF Ventures.

With the funding, Open Cosmos plans to expand its staff from 22 to 50 people and to establish new manufacturing facilities to produce 30 satellites per year. The firm currently is based at the European Space Agency’s Harwell, England, incubator.

Open Cosmos, a startup founded by Spanish entrepreneur Rafael Jordà Siquier, is marketing four-kilogram cubesats for as little as $700,000, which it plans to deliver to customers within a year.

Open Cosmos has agreements with launch providers to send the satellites into orbit. Once there, Open Cosmos plans to operate the spacecraft, collect data and send it to customers.

“We have agreements with all major launching companies in the world,” Jordà Siquier said in a statement. “We want to provide our customers with as many launch opportunities as possible to as many orbits as possible from any continent in the world.”

Wendy Tan White, BGF Ventures advisor, said in a statement, “We are excited and confident that Rafael and his team are going to revolutionize the satellite industry in the coming years and we look forward to seeing what kind of applications entrepreneurs can build when they have relatively cheap access to satellite data and an easily accessible operations stack.”

In addition to BGF Ventures, participants in Open Cosmos’ Series A round include Charlie Songhurst, Microsoft’s former head of corporate strategy, Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of TransferWise, and investment firms LocalGlobe and Entrepreneur First.

Open Cosmos launched its first satellite from the International Space Station in 2017.

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...