SkyWatch raises $21 million CAD Series B as private sector satellite interest skyrockets

satellite

Waterloo-based space tech startup SkyWatch Space Applications has raised a $21 million CAD ($17.2 million USD) Series B round after interest in the company’s commercial satellite imagery services soared to the moon.

The all-equity, primary capital round was led by Drive Capital, with participation from existing investors BDC ICE Venture Fund, Golden Ventures, Space Capital, and Bullpen Capital. SkyWatch has raised over $30 million CAD to date, with its last round a $10 million CAD Series A coming in January of 2020. Past investors include Sinai Ventures and Globalive Capital.

Since its Series A round, SkyWatch has seen an explosion in private sector interest in Earth observation data. The company claims a 450 percent jump in revenue year-over-year for the first half of 2021.

SkyWatch claims a 450 percent jump in revenue year-over-year for the first half of 2021.

“Space privatization is leading to an entirely new infrastructure in the sky,” said Nick Solaro, Partner at Drive Capital. “As with platform shifts in the past, like the Internet, this infrastructure will yield new categories of world-changing companies. We believe SkyWatch is one of them.”

Founded in 2014, SkyWatch builds infrastructure to connect satellite data operators and application developers with two different products: EarthCache, which provides satellite data for an application, and TerraStream, a data management platform for satellite data operators.

The company launched its first TerraStream-enabled satellite earlier this month with Polish-based commercial satellite company SatRevolution, and has 40 different satellites under contract for launch, from players including SatRevolution and Canada’s-own Wyvern.

“Enabling new and exciting commercial satellite operators is the key to further democratizing Earth observation data,” James Slifierz, SkyWatch’s CEO and co-founder, told BetaKit. 

The CEO said the new funding would be used to scale its technology globally. Last year, the company set a goal to surpass 1,000 different customers leveraging its tools or building applications via its EarthCache API.

“Satellite operators struggle with building software for the end consumers that utilize their data,” Golden Ventures partner Ameet Shah told BetaKit. “Through its marketplace, Skywatch enables any developer to integrate satellite data into their app with just a few lines of code.”

Feature image courtesy Unsplash.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.