Satellogic constellation
Satellogic says its new funding round will enable it to scale up its satellite constellation, with 16 satellites scheduled for launch in 2020. Credit: Satellogic

PARIS — Earth observation company Satellogic expects to begin trading on the Nasdaq next week after completing a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC).

Speaking at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week here Dec. 16, Satellogic Chief Executive Emiliano Kargieman said that shareholders of CF Acquisition Corp. V, the SPAC that announced plans in July to merge with Satellogic, are scheduled to vote on the deal Dec. 20.

The vote will be the final step before completing the merger, turning Satellogic into a publicly traded company. “We expect to be listed on Wednesday” Dec. 22, he said.

The shareholder vote was originally scheduled for Dec. 8, but the SPAC adjourned shareholder meeting to Dec. 20 “to continue discussions regarding potential additional financing for the post-combination company,” according to a statement from CF Acquisition Corp. V. Kargieman said that additional financing was intended to ensure the company had the funding it needed to build out its full constellation. He added he didn’t know the rate of redemptions, where SPAC shareholders get a refund instead of holding stock in the merged company.

When the merger was announced in July, the SPAC proceeds and a concurrent private placement were projected to provide Satellogic with $271 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The company will use that capital to complete a 300-satellite constellation by 2025.

To achieve that goal, Kargieman said that Satellogic is building a new factory in the Netherlands for high-volume production of its satellites. That facility will open in mid-2022 and, when fully functional at the beginning of 2023, will be able to produce 25 satellites a quarter.

Satellogic had been building its satellites at much lower rates in South America. “Today, about 75% of the supply for our satellites comes from Europe, so it made a lot of sense for us to build a new high-throughput manufacturing facility in Europe,” he said. “We looked around and ended up settling in the Netherlands.”

Those plans would allow Satellogic to provide weekly remapping of the entire globe with high-resolution imagery in 2023 and daily remapping when the full constellation is in place in 2025, goals the company set when it announced the SPAC merger in July.

That constellation will allow the company, he said, to provide imagery at effectively zero marginal cost: since the constellation is taking images of the globe daily, it doesn’t need to task satellites to view particular areas, reducing the cost to what it takes to distribute it.

Kargieman said that low cost structure will enable pricing that can open up new markets, justifying revenue projections the company made as part of the SPAC merger that see it growing from $7 million this year to $787 million in 2025. “By being able to put the data at the right price point in terms of customers, we think the market is huge,” he said. “That $700 million by 2025, if you see it in the context of the market opportunity that we can unlock with zero marginal cost data distribution, then it’s a very small percentage of what the market is going to hold.”

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...