UK company Sky and Space Global has raised $12m (£9.2m), which it will use to launch the first batch of the company’s Pearls constellation nano-satellites network. The launch with Virgin Orbit is due to take place by mid-2019 and is the initial stage of the company’s plan to operate a network of 200 nano-satellites to provide affordable voice, data, instant messaging, M2M and IoT communications to the equatorial belt.
The satellites will also bring to the equatorial region a huge range of life-saving services including search and rescue, disaster management, emergency response, security alarms and recreational tracking. This is in addition to a range of traditional services including mobile applications, offshore communications, smart farming, interactive TV, airplane, vessel and animal tracking, water and electric metering, grid monitoring, and ATM.
“We have undertaken this round of financing at a crucial time for the company, as we prepare to launch our first batch of Pearls nano-satellites into space,” said Meir Moalem, Sky and Space Global managing director and CEO. “The support we have received is indicative of the confidence the market has in our ability to deliver on milestones and achieve the objectives we have set out for the company."
The offering has received the backing of existing SAS investors as well as several new institutional and professional investors. In addition, SAS chairman Michael Malone, managing director and CEO Meir Moalem and other directors will be investing $710,000 in the placement, subject to shareholder approval. The move underscores management's support and confidence in the company. Existing eligible shareholders will also be given the opportunity to participate in the offering for up to $15,000 on the same terms.