BusinessVC/PE

LeoLabs Raises $29M for a Global Tracking Network

LeoLabs space radar
The New Zealand space radar site. Image: LeoLabs

LeoLabs clinched $29M in funding to fulfill its dreams of truly global coverage and deep, AI-powered analytics to support its LEO-monitoring space radar network.

GP Bullhound and 1941 participated in the round as new investors in LeoLabs. Existing investors Insight Partners, Velvet Sea Ventures, Space Capital, MDSV Capital, and the AngelList Syndicate led by Dylan Taylor also participated.

AI, take the wheel: For a space data collection firm, the ability to process large volumes of data is essential. LeoLabs has invested in AI-powered software that can turn the jumble of data collected by its radar network each day into usable insights for its customers.

According to LeoLabs CEO Daniel Ceperley, AI makes a big difference in several key areas when running a space-tracking business:

  1. Detecting and predicting maneuvers. LeoLabs is working toward “space behavior awareness at scale,” Ceperley told Payload, and AI helps to understand the behavior of thousands—or tens of thousands—of satellites at once much more easily.
  2. Categorizing space objects, by sorting by their form and function.
  3. Managing global sensor networks. “AI techniques are really good at telling each radar site what to do and when to do it,” Ceperley said.

Look up: LeoLabs’ ground radar network is the “heart and soul” of the business, Ceperley said. The company has radars up and running at six sites across the globe, and it’s eyeing even more expansion to increase its coverage of the cosmos, including one more undisclosed radar site opening this year.

Doing business: With this new round of funding, LeoLabs is aiming to expand its relationships with the US and its allies through investment in the go-to-market side of the business. 

“The US Department of Defense, US Department of Commerce, allies as well, they’re trying to stitch together many different satellites, many different regulatory requirements,” Ceperley said. “By working with the right partners, we can actually present them a turnkey solution.”

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