Fleet Space Technologies has raised $50 million in a Series C round that values the South Australian satellite launch at more than $350 million.
The round was led by existing backers Blackbird, with support from Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures, Alumni Ventures and superfund Hostplus. New to the dressing table are TelstraSuper, former treasurer Joe Hockey’s consulting firm Bondi Partners through its 1941 Fund and Pavilion Capital.
Fleet previously raised $36 million in a Series B in late 2021 with participation from Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird, Grok Ventures and Horizons Ventures.
The company’s ExoSphere satellite-based mineral exploration technology is now being used by more than 30 mining customers, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Core Lithium and Gold Fields in the hunt for potential deposits.
ExoSphere’s 3D subsurface imaging capabilities improve the targeting of exploratory drilling. The company is also making its Geode ground sensors smaller, lighter and more capable of collecting multiple data types simultaneously to improve the insights ExoSphere can deliver.
Last month, Fleet scored a $6.4 million Australian defense contract that will see next-generation Centauri satellites used to develop and demonstrate a Low Earth Orbit satellite communications system aimed at tactical communications and data transmission where connectivity is limited .
CEO and co-founder Flavia Tata Nardini said ExoSphere is transforming mineral and mining projects worldwide.
“With this new funding, we are ideally placed to drive further innovation and drive growth within the mineral exploration industry, not just in Australia but around the world,” she said.
“Looking forward, our vision extends beyond Earth as we aim to use these advanced techniques to scan the Moon and Mars, enabling responsible exploration and unlocking extraterrestrial resources that were once out of reach.”
Tata Nardini said the launch of Exosphere generated $28 million in contracted revenue from customers on every continent within a year.
“We believe that space-enabled data in exploration will accelerate the search for critical minerals to such an extent that we will be able to reach humanity’s net-zero goals,” she said.
“With this capital, we want to map the Earth’s subsurface and find the deposits needed with a much lower environmental impact.”
The funding will also be used to develop technology enabled by machine learning and AI, as well as new product lines through an expanded constellation of satellites.
Headquartered in Adelaide, the company now has more than 100 employees and offices in Canada, Luxembourg and Chile, in addition to a US team.