Fleet Space Technologies has raised $50 million in a Series C round that values the South Australian satellite startup at more than $350 million.
The round was led by existing backers Blackbird, with support from Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures, Alumni Ventures and super fund Hostplus. New to the cap table are TelstraSuper, former treasurer Joe Hockey’s advisory firm Bondi Partners through its 1941 Fund and Pavilion Capital.
Fleet previously raised $36 million in a Series B in late 2021 with Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird, Grok Ventures, and Horizons Ventures participating.
The company’s ExoSphere satellite-based mineral exploration technology is now used by more than 30 mining clients, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Core Lithium and Gold Fields in the hunt for potential deposits.
ExoSphere’s 3D subsurface imaging capabilities improves the targeting of exploratory drilling. The company is also making its Geode ground sensors smaller, lighter, and more capable of acquiring multiple data types simultaneously to improve the insights ExoSphere can deliver.
Last month Fleet scored a $6.4 million Australian defence contract that will see will see its next-generation of Centauri satellites used to develop and demonstrate a Low Earth Orbit satellite communications system focused on tactical communications and data transmission where connectivity is limited.
CEO and cofounder Flavia Tata Nardini said ExoSphere is transforming mineral and mining projects worldwide.
“With this new funding, we are in an ideal position to propel further innovation and drive growth within the mineral exploration industry, not only in Australia but across the globe,” she said.
“Looking ahead, our vision extends beyond Earth as we aim to leverage these cutting-edge techniques to scan the Moon and Mars, enabling responsible exploration and unlocking extraterrestrial resources that were once out of reach.”
Tata Nardini said that the launch of Exosphere, delivered $28 million in contracted revenues within a year from customers on every continent.
“We are believers that space enabled data in exploration will allow the search for critical minerals to speed up so much that we will be able to reach humanity’s targets for net zero,” she said.
“With this capital we aim to map the subsurface of Earth and find the deposits that are needed with a much lower environmental impact.”
The funding will also be deployed on developing technology enabled by machine learning and AI, and new product lines through an expanded constellation of satellites.
The Adelaide-headquartered company now has more 100 employees and offices in Canada, Luxembourg, and Chile, alongside a US team.