Securing a safe and sustainable future in Space
Established in 2016 and rooted in years of research at the Stanford Research Institute, LeoLabs has risen to prominence in the space industry by providing the core software infrastructure for space operations. Its proprietary, global network of radars and advanced analytics enables LeoLabs to capture and apply insights to the most accurate and highest fidelity data of the tens of thousands of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO).
“We all benefit from the growth of space-based activities, but this growth is not without its challenges” said retired NASA astronaut Ed Lu, CTO and Cofounder of LeoLabs. “As launches become more frequent and orbits more congested, the threat from space debris and anomalous activities increases. To ensure space remains safe, secure, and sustainable, LeoLabs supplies the data necessary for mission success and the insights required for mission security. This investment by GP Bullhound speaks to the importance of this endeavour and the value of LeoLabs’ capabilities.”
Low Earth orbit (LEO) is the centre of activity in the second Space Race, and it is only just beginning. Using its proliferated global radar network, including 6 sites and 10 radars, LeoLabs monitors more than 20,000 objects in space, including over 7,000 satellites in LEO, which holds 90% of all satellites orbiting Earth. Yet, the rapid acceleration of commercial development in the sector suggests a significant increase in the number of satellites in the coming years, with projections up to as high as 100,000 by 2030.
“The unprecedented growth of traffic in low Earth orbit (LEO) has put space operations in jeopardy. Fortunately, we saw this coming,” said Dan Ceperley, CEO and Cofounder of LeoLabs. “LeoLabs has built the world’s largest commercially owned catalogue of objects in LEO and developed a responsive layer of artificial intelligence algorithms to turn that real-time data into critical insights. Customers, including commercial operators and the US and allied governments, rely on us to safely execute and continuously monitor space operations. This investment, led by GP Bullhound, enables us to bolster our data architecture and system software as we continue to serve the space sector in an emerging era of tens of thousands of satellites.”
The company serves a wide range of commercial entities, including SpaceX, OneWeb, and Planet Labs, as well as governmental entities such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the Japan Air Self Defense Force, and the New Zealand Space Agency, among others.
“Space is becoming one of the key growth areas of this decade and beyond” said Per Roman, Managing Partner at GP Bullhound. “LeoLabs is already the category leader at tracking this data in its extreme complexity – a position we find unique and attractive. We are also deeply concerned that if humanity’s space expansion is not monitored and managed in a fair and equitable way we may end up with environmental challenges in space that can harm life on our planet and therefore see LeoLabs as another key investment in our ESG theme alongside Ecovadis.”
In the face of exponential growth in the global space sector, the investment aims to bolster LeoLabs’ operational capabilities, enabling the company to further expand its comprehensive suite of satellite tracking and monitoring services, and underlining GP Bullhound’s continued commitment to supporting sustainable technologies.
“LeoLabs combine the unique benefits of having a strong first mover advantage and a compounding competitive positioning being light-years ahead of their direct competition. On top of that, what’s truly unique about LeoLabs is that they control the data – making them the best positioned commercial player to build out proprietary AI tools for satellite operators.” Hampus Hellermark, Investment Principal at GP Bullhound.
The funding round also includes contributions from Insight Partners, 1941, Velvet Sea Ventures, Space Capital, and the AngelList Syndicate, powering LeoLabs’ mission and vision for a safe, secure, and sustainable future in space.
GP Bullhound invested through Fund VI. Other recent software investments include EcoVadis and CoverManager.
For enquiries, please contact:
Hampus Hellermark, Principal, at email@example.com
About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, with a global team of 150+ employees, the firm now has 14 offices across key hubs such as London, San Francisco, New York, and Paris. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com.
LeoLabs, Inc., founded in 2016 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a company dedicated to providing the core software infrastructure for space operations. Through a proprietary network of radars across the globe, LeoLabs delivers highly accurate and reliable LEO data services and analytics to help navigate the rapidly growing space industry.