Lausanne, Switzerland (August 10th, 2017) – ELSE SA, the Swiss new space start-up, today announced the funding of a $3 million seed round. The successful capital raise was enabled by a group of investors including Airbus Ventures, a Geneva-based Independent Assets Manager and Multi Family Office, as well as numerous additional Swiss- and internationally-based private investors. The seed round follows $3 million previously raised by the company in public support.
ELSE SA is currently developing a network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellites named Astrocast that will provide cost effective IoT and machine-to-machine services to global enterprises. The seed round will support ELSE’s complete business operations through the company’s planned demonstration mission expected in mid-2018, which will launch the first two nanosatellites into LEO.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with this group of investors during this critical development phase of Astrocast,” said Fabien Jordan, Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman of ELSE SA. “This seed round validates our ambitious plan to connect the planet and enhance machine-to-machine communications through our innovative satellite constellation and network technology. We are looking to disrupt and serve numerous industries and this successful capital raise is an important milestone for us in that plan.”
Astrocast is designed to provide unlimited coverage all over the planet, with no geographical limitations. The constellation will comprise a total of 64 nanosatellites with ELSE projecting all to be in orbit by 2021. The satellites will collect data, which will be delivered to ground stations, then distributed for access by customers through a secure Internet gateway. Astrocast is expected to drive efficiencies and operational cost advantages across numerous sectors including retail, agriculture, automotive, transportation & logistics, utilities, maritime, oil and gas, among many others.
“The machine-to-machine sector is burgeoning with new utilizations and benefits identified constantly,” added Jordan. “While we have a clear idea of numerous applications and industries that Astrocast will serve, we learn of more all the time, further solidifying our resolve in delivering this constellation.”
The Astrocast mission is also supported by Swiss grants and by the European Space Agency (ESA) through the agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program, which transforms research and development investment into successful commercial products.
ELSE SA was founded in 2014 by the team that developed the widely successful SwissCube, a single-unit CubeSat, Switzerland’s first satellite.
“Our team’s experience is proven by the SwissCube mission, a satellite projected to last no more than one year yet is still fully functional today, nearly eight years post launch,” said Jordan. “Other key members of our leadership team bring a wealth of expertise in the areas of launch, space systems, finance, and business development – all of which is being leveraged to bring the vision of Astrocast to life.”
“We, at Airbus Ventures, have decided to invest in ELSE, as we believe in the development of machine-to-machine communications and we have been convinced by the cost-effective innovative satellite constellation and network technology which ELSE will be providing,” said Mr. Francois Auque, Airbus Ventures’ Chairman of the Board of the fund’s General Partner entity. “We are happy to foster further cooperation between ELSE and Airbus.”
ELSE SA will now transition into funding its Series A round, which is expected to close in 2018. “We already have commitments and great interest in our Series A and fully expect it to be a success,” added Jordan.
Visit ELSE online at www.astrocast.net for additional information about Astrocast.
About ELSE SA
ELSE is a Swiss company based in Lausanne developing the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellite constellation Astrocast, providing diverse global industries with a cost effective IoT and M2M communication platform. ELSE was founded in 2014 by the developers of SwissCube, one of the longest servicing nanosatellites in space. Please visit us at www.astrocast.net
About Airbus Ventures
Airbus Ventures is a Silicon Valley-headquartered, early-stage investment fund that operates with autonomy and trust within Airbus Group. The group’s autonomy is essential as it successfully funds companies worldwide. The fund is nimble, valuable and energetic in their work with startups that will impact all life on Earth and beyond.