Unseenlabs Raises €85M for Maritime Tracking

Unseenlabs, a French space company building a constellation for maritime surveillance, has raised an €85M ($92.2M) funding round that will support its expansion outside of Europe.

Supernova Invest, ISALT, and UNEXO participated in the round as new investors in Unseenlabs. Previous investors 360 Capital, OMNES, Bpifrance, Breizh Up, and S2G Ventures also contributed to the new batch of funding.

“Unseenlabs stands out for its innovative approach and its ability to redefine the standards of space observation of radio frequencies,” Etienne Moreau, partner at Supernova Invest, said in a release. “The decisive factors of our investment lie in their disruptive technology and the value-addition of their data, crucial for both state maritime missions and private sector markets.”

Dark no more: Unseenlabs’ key technology is an RF sensing payload that can track ships, including dark vessels, as they travel across the ocean.

  • Ships are primarily trackable via an automatic identification system (AIS), which is voluntary and unencrypted.
  • “Dark vessels” are ships that have switched that system off for whatever reason to remain undetected on the sea.
  • Space-based RF sensors can find and track ships regardless of whether their AIS is switched on.

Maritime tracking tech is a valuable asset for militaries watching for potential hostilities offshore as well as for commercial outfits whose business lines rely on maritime shipping.

Big plans ahead: With the closing of this round of funding, Unseenlabs is aiming to become the leader in the maritime tracking space.

The company is prioritizing growth in several areas now that it’s raised this batch of funding:

  1. Personnel. Hiring efforts will be focused on R&D, operations, and international sales, and the company plans on doubling its team of 75 over the next 18–24 months.
  2. Constellation. Unseenlabs operates 11 satellites in LEO and plans to deploy another ten by the end of 2025.
  3. Consolidation. The company is focusing its strategy to engage customers within a variety of industries, including insurance, shipping, and energy.
  4. Expansion. To date, Unseenlabs has done much of its business in Europe, and it’s now eyeing deeper relationships in the American and Asian markets. “The prospect of establishing a US subsidiary is on the horizon,” an Unseenlabs spokesperson told Payload.
  5. Innovation. New products may be coming down the pike. Unseenlabs said that new capabilities will prioritize “greater accuracy, faster data processing, and more actionable insights” for customers.

The company’s next milestone is the launch of two additional RF-sensing satellites expected to launch aboard Transporter-10 no earlier than March 4.

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