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Albedo raises $48M to capture the highest resolution satellite imagery

Written by  Thursday, 08 September 2022 11:54
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Austin TX (SPX) Sep 08, 2022
Albedo, a company developing low-flying satellites that will deliver ultra high resolution images, has announced a $48M Series A financing round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Shield Capital, bringing the company's total funding to $58M in less than two years since inception. Participation in the round included new investors Republic Capital, Giant Step Capital, and C16 Venture

Albedo, a company developing low-flying satellites that will deliver ultra high resolution images, has announced a $48M Series A financing round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Shield Capital, bringing the company's total funding to $58M in less than two years since inception.

Participation in the round included new investors Republic Capital, Giant Step Capital, and C16 Ventures, along with existing investors Initialized Capital, Joe Montana's Liquid 2, Kevin Mahaffey, and other undisclosed participants.

Albedo is developing very-low-earth-orbit (VLEO) satellites that will co-collect 10 centimeter (cm) optical imagery and 2 meter thermal infrared imagery. The resolution of Albedo's imagery is unprecedented in the commercial market and will enable applications that have been limited by lower resolution satellites or operational limitations of imagery collected from planes.

The Series A funding will enable the company to complete development of its first satellite and develop the software to support satellite operations and deliver imagery to users.

The breadth of commercial applications for Albedo's imagery spans markets including precision agriculture, HD mapping, property insurance, utilities vegetation management, construction and real estate, pipeline monitoring, urban planning, and many others. While these markets benefit from the high fidelity 10 cm resolution of the optical imagery on its own, Albedo's unique ability to co-collect thermal infrared imagery is an added game-changer for many applications. By offering new products that fuse the two types of images together, additional insights can be extracted for these markets including temperature differences, moisture measurements, energy efficiency, and activity indication.

"To reach net zero, we will need high fidelity visual and thermal data that is available at low cost and high frequency, enabling a host of earth science focused climate solutions," said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. "Albedo is the first company we've seen that can provide this data that will enable applications for precision agriculture, forestry management, and wildfire prevention and management."

As demonstrated by the conflict in Ukraine, it has been proven that there is immense value in commercial high-resolution imagery for the national security interests of the United States and its Allies to help keep their citizens safe. Using Albedo's 10-cm resolution imagery, analysts will be able to identify key items of intelligence-including military vehicle types, aircraft markings, missile test characteristics, and other information-to accurately inform decision makers and provide awareness to the broader public. Enabled by new U.S. regulations on commercial remote sensing, Albedo was recently awarded the first-ever U.S. license to sell 10 cm imagery commercially.

"Albedo is developing the world's first commercially available high-resolution imaging capability, which holds tremendous promise for both commercial and defense customers," said Raj Shah, Managing Director of Shield Capital. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Topher and the Albedo founding team."

By rethinking the traditional approach to earth observation satellites, namely developing a stable, agile platform to operate at very low altitudes, Albedo is able to achieve substantial cost reductions compared to historical implementations of high resolution satellite imaging. Developing the underlying core technologies for VLEO will not only enable unprecedented resolutions in earth observation, but also avoid contributing to the increasingly crowded space environment that poses a risk to long term space sustainability.

"Beyond the capital, we couldn't be more excited to partner with two lead investors who reflect the markets with some of the strongest needs for Albedo's imagery," said Topher Haddad, co-founder and CEO of Albedo. "We have an exciting and challenging road ahead. With new funding and regulatory risks behind us, it's time to ramp up our technical development and execute on bringing this capability to market."


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