MDI Ventures, corporate venture capital supported by Telkom Group, has announced its involvement for seed funding in space tech startup Loft Orbital, which is based in San Fransisco, United States. Uncork Capital, v1.vc, Mercuria Investment Co, RESTEC Japan, and a number of top executives in the space industry are participated. The total fund disbursed for this round is $3.2 million (over 43 billion Rupiah). It’s expected that this funding will be followed up by collaboration between Telkom Group and Loft Orbital.
Loft Orbital has rental business model for sensor placement in its sensory satellites. Third party companies can use it to obtain earth’s scenery images for various purposes, including education, maritime, weather, prediction of crops, and others.
Usually, companies have to buy satellites (in full ownership) to obtain accurate data of earth. This service expected to be able to minimize the costs and encourage further research of earth.
Loft Orbital was founded by Antoinne de Chassy, Pierre-Damien Vaujour, and Alex Greenberg. They have 50 years experience altogether in the space industry. Previously, de Chassy was the CEO of Airbus Geo North America, Vaujour was a NASA aerospace engineer, and Greenberg is a Silicon Valley veteran in the space industry.
Loft Orbital’s CEO, Antoinne de Chassy, said, “MDI Ventures was one of the first major investors committed to Loft Orbital. They saw the value our satellite leasing solution could bring to solving some of the most pressing issues in Indonesia as well as the opportunities for business growth in the region. We offer our customers easy access to Space and control of the data collection, and we are excited to serve the needs and demands of commercial and Government customers in Indonesia.”
MDI Ventures’ CEO, Nicko Widjaja, exclusively to DailySocial told, this segment can be considered relatively new, even in the United States. He considered innovation in this sector, for the past three years, has been driven by price of satellite platforms that’s getting more affordable and numbers of countries that has spent (between $10 million and $100 million) on activities in space (called as “space nation”). Many of data and analytics companies are looking for cheaper solutions to launch their sensors into space.
This kind of solutions are said to “democratise” business in the space segment.
Regarding Loft Orbital and Telkom Group’s potential partnership, Nicko replied, “As most of our portfolio is based on immediate synergy value, we’re looking forward to see a collaboration in near future with this type of companies. Loft Orbital is founded by pioneers and consists of people within the circle of space-tech (Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Airbus, OneWeb) and this sets our foot in the sector strategically.”
Initially written in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian