Crowdfunding platform Spaced Ventures was established in 2020 to make the space "industry accessible to companies and investors of all sizes," according to its website. Credit: Spaced Ventures' Exo-Space page screenshot

SAN FRANCISO – Sidus Space’s acquisition of Exo-Space marks an important milestone for crowdfunding platform Spaced Ventures — its first exit.

“It’s a vindication of the concept of bringing in individual investors who see the value in early-stage companies before other people do,” Spaced Ventures CEO Aaron Burnett told SpaceNews.

Exo-Space, a company that specializes in on-orbit edge processing software and hardware, was founded in Pasadena, California, in 2020. Exo-Space raised $208,722 on Spaced Ventures’ crowdfunding website.

“The funding we got on Spaced Ventures was what carried us to where we are now,” said Exo-Space CEO Jeremy Allam.

Space Data Latency

Prior to its acquisition by Sidus, announced Aug. 22, Exo-Space designed and built FeatherEdge, a platform that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to Earth observation data. Exo-Space also booked a launch in November for an on-orbit demonstration of FeatherEdge.

In the wake of the acquisition, Exo-Space co-founders will become Sidus employees.

From the first meeting about a year ago, Exo-Space and Sidus “were so aligned it made sense for us to integrate our technology,” Allam said. “The more we talked, the more we realized that our goals of reducing space data latency were very aligned.”

In addition, people from both companies were “willing to listen and learn” from one another, said Carol Craig, Sidus founder and CEO.

Living on the Edge

Space-based edge processing, once considered for niche applications, is becoming increasingly popular.  

“When we were pitching this idea back in 2020, few other companies were trying to do edge computing in space,” Allam said.

Now, Exodus Orbitals, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Ramon.Space and Spiral Blue are among the companies advertising space-based edge processing products and services.

Sidus announced plans in 2022 to integrate Exo-Space’s artificial intelligence software on its 3D-printed satellite, LizzieSat, a multipurpose constellation designed to provide services for government and commercial customers.

Spaced Ventures Investors

People who backed Exo-Space through Spaced Ventures are pleased with the return on their investments.

Alex Fisher, an angel investor who has backed more than 35 space companies, said in a statement, “I spend a lot of time focused on angel investing in space companies, having made over 35 investments, but Exo-Space wasn’t on my radar until Spaced Ventures posted them on their space investing portal. Their heavy due diligence was obviously really valuable since it’s already led to an investing exit in such a short amount of time.”

Kyle Hagge, a space investor and Morning Brew director of community, said in a statement that there are always risk involved in backing space startups, “so it’s amazing seeing a success story and return this early on!”

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...