SAN FRANCISCO – Sidus Space announced the acquisition Aug. 22 of Exo-Space, a startup focused on space-based edge processing and artificial intelligence.

Sidus acquired Pasadena, California-based Exo-Space to expand its “talent, technology and total addressable market,” Carol Craig, Sidus founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Along with sales contracts and existing AI technology, the transaction includes the acquisition of Exo-Space’s collective experience in AI and machine learning.

Sidus, an outgrowth of Florida-based Craig Technologies, was founded in 2011 to provide space-related products and services. In 2021, the company began selling stock publicly. In February, Sidus had raised $5.2 million from stock sales to support LizzieSat, a multipurpose satellite constellation scheduled to begin launching later this year.

Integrating FeatherEdge

Acquiring Exo-Space will allow Sidus to expand its Earth-observation and space-observation business, “by providing actionable solutions for our customers’ needs as opposed to just raw data,” Craig said. “The integration of Exo-Space EdgeAI technology with Sidus’ sensors provides significant value and transformative potential across various domains.”

Sidus acquired Exo-Space’s assets through a combination of cash, stock options and performance bonus incentives.

Exo-Space, founded in 2020, has developed but not yet flown FeatherEdge, a platform that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to Earth observation data.

“We caught them early in their trajectory,” Jared Novick, Sidus senior vice president of strategy and special projects, told SpaceNews. “If we waited, their evaluation would have gone very high in alignment with their true value.”

Exo-Space brings Sidus “a current revenue stream of commercial and government contracts extending through 2025, as well as a pipeline of potential clients,” according to an Aug. 22 news release. “The deal is projected to have a positive impact on Sidus’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.”

Rideshare on a Software Platform

“Exo-Space’s combination of space-hardened hardware and resilient software made this an attractive acquisition in creation of value to both our customers and shareholders,” Novick said in a statement. “The concept of offering customers a special ‘rideshare’ opportunity with a software platform to upload, change and improve analytics of payloads onboard is a forward-thinking and innovative approach. This idea aligns with the increasing demand for flexibility and customization in satellite missions and data collection.”

Exo-Space CEO Jeremy Allam said in a statement, “By joining the Sidus team and integrating our AI capabilities into LizzieSat, we can now better deliver the benefits of space-based AI to more customers and on a shorter timeline than was previously possible.”

Initial partnership

In 2022. Sidus awarded a contract to Exo-Space to integrate its artificial intelligence software technology on LizzieSat.

“Then as we were building our satellites, we started looking at the opportunities,” Craig told SpaceNews. “The space industry is changing and the smarter capabilities you have vertically, the more opportunity you have to capture more market.”

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...