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LeoLabs secures US$29m in funding

Space situational awareness firm LeoLabs has raised an additional US$29 million in funding.

The company said it would use the money to invest in “advanced end-user applications and partner integrations”.

LeoLabs is best known in Australia for its West Australian Space Radar, which was unveiled in January last year.

The site, along with others globally, tracks more than 20,000 objects in low Earth orbit before its software uses AI to process the millions of measurements collected.


It comes with space companies increasingly concerned with the amount of debris in orbit and governments turning to commercial businesses for off-the-shelf-style surveillance.

Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs’ global CEO, said the growth of satellites in orbit has made safety and security solutions critical.

“We’ve built a responsive layer of artificial intelligence algorithms that turn the real-time data collected by our all-weather, 24/7 sensor network into continuous and reliable insights for space operators,” he said.

“This investment, led by GP Bullhound, enables us to accelerate this effort by bolstering our data architecture and system software. We’re eager to continue serving the space sector as a key operational partner and enable its growth in an emerging era of tens of thousands of satellites.”


The business said it would additionally scale up its safety capabilities and build the “foundational layer of the next generation of space traffic coordination” in development by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“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.”

Other participants in the funding round included 1941, Dolby Family Ventures, Insight Partners, Velvet Sea Ventures, Space Capital, MDSV Capital and the AngelList Syndicate.

The West Australian Space Radar, near Collie in the state’s southwest, added extra coverage of the Southern Hemisphere with two S-band active phased array radars.

The site allows better tracking and monitoring of median to high inclination resident space objects in tandem with the LeoLabs Kiwi Space Radar in the South Island of New Zealand.

In a podcast with Space Connect last year, LeoLabs’ local managing director, Terry van Haren, explained his company’s open philosophy of providing data to governments and commercial clients, arguing that more data for all keeps space safer.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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