SAN FRANCISCO – SkyWatch Space Applications raised 20.9 million Canadian dollars ($17.2 ) in a Series B funding round, less than 17 months after welcoming investors to its Series A round.
The rapid pace of fundraising was not in the Canadian startup’s original plan but necessitated by demand for TerraStream, a data management and distribution platform SkyWatch offers Earth-observation companies.
“We didn’t anticipate a company adopting TerraStream to run their full operation until 2022 or 2023” because of the extraordinary level of trust required to hand off critical business functions like operations, cataloging, archiving and tasking to another company, SkyWatch CEO James Slifierz told SpaceNews.
Customers, however, have quickly adopted TerraStream. “We have close to 40 satellites under contract to launch in the next 12 months,” Slifierz said.
As a result, SkyWatch plans to use the proceeds of its Series B round to ramp up operations to keep pace with demand.
Drive Capital led the SkyWatch Series B round. Existing SkyWatch investors Bullpen Capital, Space Capital, Golden Ventures, and BDC Ventures also participated.
SatRevolution is set to be the first TerraStream customer to launch. The Polish Earth-observation startup is preparing to send aloft two three-unit cubesats to collect multispectral medium-resolution imagery and data.
The SatRevolution cubesats, called Stork-4 and Stork-5, are scheduled to launch on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rideshare flight later this month. Mexican startup SpaceJLTZ and Wyvern of Canada are the other two TerraStream customers SkyWatch has named.
SkyWatch has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2018. In the first half of 2021, SkyWatch revenue surged more than 450% compared with the same period in 2020.
EarthCache, a software platform offering access to aerial and satellite data sources through an application program interface, was the startup’s first product. SkyWatch developed TerraStream after noting how customers struggled to build their data management systems and quickly monetize data.
TerraStream is designed to take away that struggle and allow Earth-observation companies to focus instead on the quality and affordability of their datasets, the two primary factors Earth-observation data customers consider, Slifierz said.
SkyWatch raised $7.5 million in its Series A investment round announced in January 2020.