Loft Orbital Raised $13 Million To Build Satellites-As-A-Service

Artist rendering of Loft’s YAM-2 satellite, which will provide services for five different customers when it launches in 2020.

San Francisco-based Loft Orbital, which is launching satellites that can be used by multiple customers for multiple missions, has successfully closed a $13 million Series A funding round that will help it open an office in Boulder, Colorado, focused on aerospace engineering and another office in Toulouse, France, for software development and international sales. 

Loft is developing a business of “satellite-as-a-service,” in which it will deploy satellites about the size of a washing machine into orbit that are loaded with different instruments or payloads for its customers. Loft promises customers they don’t have to spend millions to build, deploy or launch a satellite to get the data they’re interested in — the company does that in exchange for milestone payments before launch and as a subscription service afterwards.

The company has believers lined up as both investors and customers. The company has raised over $16 million in its seed and series A rounds, and has already booked five customers for its first satellite, which will launch in the first half of 2020. Those customers include telecommunications company Eutelsat, the UAE’s space agency, and space cryptocurrency startup SpaceChain. Other customers are lined up for its second and third satellites as well, according to the company.

The influx of capital, according to the company, will enable it to expand its team and prepare more satellites. Its ultimate vision is that companies will be able to take advantage of space in the same way they can take advantage of cloud services.

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