WASHINGTON — Australian startup HEO, which uses space-based sensors to inspect and image objects in orbit, announced Aug. 23 it has completed an $8 million Series A funding round.
Previously known as HEO Robotics, the company changed its name to just HEO to reflect its focus on commercial in-orbit inspection and space-based space situational awareness, the company’s co-founder and CEO William Crowe said during a presentation in Sydney, Australia.
The funding round was led by Airtree Ventures, an Australian venture capital firm. Other investors include Salus VC, Y Combinator, In-Q-Tel, David Harding and Steve Baxter.
HEO specializes in the burgeoning field of non-Earth imagery, or satellite-to-satellite imaging. Rather than operate its own inspector satellites, HEO relies on partner companies to host the company’s software platform on their imaging satellites.
HEO leases time on partner companies’ imaging satellites and can task those 39 imagers to take pictures in order to characterize a space object. HEO’s customers include commercial satellite operators and government agencies that want to prevent their spacecraft from colliding with debris objects or keep watch of other hazards.
Enrico Palermo, head of the Australian Space Agency, said HEO’s satellite inspection technology is “enhancing our understanding of space debris, satellite movements, and potential threats.”
Crowe said HEO is doing business in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company recently opened its first U.S. office in the Washington, D.C. area.