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LeoLabs secures $29M to advance AI-powered insights for space operations

LeoLabs team
LeoLabs team. Image credits; LeoLabs

Humans are great innovators. Our ability to do that which we previously thought impossible is hugely impressive. Our exponential increase in development shows no signs of slowing down, and considering our advancements over just the last century, it is hard to predict what may stop us in our tracks. There are, of course, concerns ranging from natural disasters to all-out war, but one of the most likely scenarios, according to many experts and scientists, is that our own carelessness and ignorance will be our downfall.

Elon Musk is known for stating the main reason he works so hard to establish a colony on Mars is to double the chances that our society, and even our species, will survive into the next century.

However, since Germany’s first V2 rocket vertical test reached space in 1944, we have been steadily polluting Low-Earth-Orbit [LEO] with space debris and junk. There is now so much in orbit that it has become a major hazard for both manned and unmanned missions. Collisions are a very real problem for space agencies with more than 30,000 pieces of space junk, larger than ten centimetres, orbiting faster than a speeding bullet.

LeoLabs, a leader in space safety, security, and sustainability, based in California, advises space agencies and satellite operators with tracking data on known object hazards, allowing them to adjust orbits and launch profiles to avoid damage and mission failures.

In a recent development, LeoLabs has now successfully raised an additional $29 million in financing to amplify its capabilities in delivering advanced insights to both commercial and government space operators. GP Bullhound led the funding round, with new investors including 1941 and Dolby Family Ventures. Existing investors, including Insight Partners, Velvet Sea Ventures, Space Capital, MDSV Capital, and the AngelList Syndicate led by Dylan Taylor, also provided strong support. The funding will support LeoLabs in enhancing its end-user applications and expanding collaborations with partners.

Transforming space operations with AI and global radar network

LeoLabs has revolutionised space operations by leveraging its global, proliferated radar network to maintain the most extensive commercial catalogue of objects in low Earth orbit. The company’s capabilities include real-time tracking and processing millions of measurements using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. This results in critical insights for operators, ensuring safety, security, and sustainability in the dynamic space environment.

Dan Ceperley, CEO and Co-founder of LeoLabs, emphasized the critical role of safety and security solutions as the space sector experiences rapid growth, saying, “With the unprecedented growth of satellites in low Earth orbit, enhanced safety and security solutions are 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.”

Analytics, integration, and future space traffic coordination

LeoLabs’ analytics enable automation to keep pace with the scale of growth in LEO. The company aims to further integrate its space domain expertise and real-time insights into defence command operations for government operators. For commercial operators, LeoLabs will continue delivering reliable orbital data and safety alerts, supporting mission planning and operations.

The funding will also facilitate LeoLabs in scaling its safety capabilities to contribute to the foundational layer of the next generation of space traffic coordination, currently in development by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Investors and global market growth

LeoLabs experienced an oversubscribed funding round, reflecting its recent global market growth. The company secured key engagements with commercial operators and allied governments across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. LeoLabs anticipates announcing additional wins in Space Domain Awareness in the coming months.

As humanity’s space expansion accelerates, LeoLabs remains focused on monitoring and managing it in a fair and equitable manner to avoid potential environmental challenges in space. The company’s mission is to ensure space safety and security while rapidly expanding its global operations and capabilities to meet the growing demand.

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