Aerospacelab is a Belgian satellite scale-up founded in 2018. It designs and produces satellites, launches them with different payloads, and develops data-fusion analytics capabilities. In the long term, Aerospacelab’s constellations of micro-satellites will provide real-time content for a wide range of applications, ranging from defense and security to civil sector applications including environmental, insurance and economic intelligence. For instance, Aerospacelab’s tools can be used to monitor the evolution of catastrophic events such as floods and wildfires in close to real-time, allowing for the provision of operational and damage insights to relevant authorities.
Today, more than ever, we’re true believers of the strong potential of the “New Space” and space tech in general.
For 50 years, space innovation has made satellites ever larger and more durable. However, old satellites could no longer compete with the moving information of the world and the financial crisis. Moreover, NASA canceled the flagship program and stopped colonization of the geosynchronous orbit.
That’s when a host of companies like Aerospacelab emerge and highlight the unexpected opportunities of the cosmos. This “new space” stack promises a virtuous cycle of innovation, diversity, and growth.
The new mindset that space is best colonized by smaller, cheaper and faster computers favors entrepreneurial engineering teams. Hundreds of other startups are now exploiting the 100X cost savings of microsat constellations to colonize space. Indeed, Aerospacelab miniaturized telescopes cheaper (a million instead of a billion), which allows engineers to innovate with limited risks, and are more efficient from a surveillance perspective: the lower orbits the higher the frequency of passage over a given zone. By the way, they are sent much closer than us by constellations of 15 or 20 into the Low Earth Orbits.
Since XAnge invested in Aerospacelab, the company has already successfully sent its first satellite. It was last year, in June, with SpaceX. In a few years’ time, it will be able to produce two satellites a day! We are witnessing the emergence of a distributed, commercial ecosystem infinitely more powerful than any single company or government.
Aerospacelab’s new funding will allow the company to ramp-up the satellite production capacity, thanks to the building of a mega-factory in Wallonia. It aims at recruiting 500 employees (vs. 70 today). This will enable the company to deploy multiple constellations and establish an intra-daily monitoring of the surface of earth, in order to implement geospatial data fusion analytics capabilities. How exciting is this?
For all those reasons – having a foot in the New Space, while at the same time keeping deep roots in the industrial heart of Europe – we are very proud to be leading this Series B round of €40 million with Airbus Ventures, along with additional investors like the Klaba Family, the SRIW, Noshaq, BNP Paribas Private Equity and Sambrinvest.
We’re committed to contribute to the rise of deep tech in Europe !