Spire, the satellite-powered data startup has secured $40 million in new funding led by Promus Ventures. The other investors who participated in the funding include Bessemer Venture Partners and Jump Capital and existing investors participating RRE Ventures and Lemnos Labs.
Spire is a startup formerly called as NanoSatisfi Inc., makes small satellites filled with software-radio technology that can produce reams of data about weather patterns or other phenomena by listening instead of looking. The advanced software enables data to be collected with the focus on the three-quarters of the Earth that is covered by oceans or considered remote. It can be applied in areas that include illegal fishing, trade monitoring, maritime domain awareness, insurance, environmental impact, asset tracking, search and rescue and piracy.
“The problem we are addressing is the fact that, today, connectivity is about person to person and point to point. You can have a Skype conversation with someone halfway around the world with no problem. But the reality is that all connectivity only covers a small portion of the planet as a whole,” said Chris Wake, head of business operations Spire. He also added, “They are areas covered by land and heavily populated. We focus on covering the three fours of the planet covered by water and other areas.”
The current round of funding brings the company’s total funding to around $80 million which is a good amount for a yet-to-be three-year old company working with just 57 employees. Spire is an ambitious company that works to become a big player in the weather data market and to strengthen its position as a provider of maritime data. David Cowan, a partner with Bessemer said, “Spire by next year will have the largest constellation of satellites known to man.”
Based in offices in San Francisco and Singapore, the company will have 20 satellites with the help of 20 ground stations that will offer its clients with data from any point on the earth, delivered in 30 minutes, by the end of this year. The timing is the key niche of the company with traditional players often not able to give 100% global coverage, or when they can, at nowhere near the speed Spire is able to cover.
According to Peter Platzer, Spire is a data gathering and analytics company that happened to do that in space rather than a satellite company. He stated, “We collect data where nobody else can. Three-quarters of the planet are oceans and truly remote areas where you cannot collect data any other way than with a large number of satellites.”
Launching the satellites within the next year is very important, as it means a lot to the company that it will not only be the only commercial weather company with satellites in orbit but they will allow spire to cover the impending 2016 Weather Gap.