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Top NewSpace Startups to Watch

Top NewSpace Startups to Watch

An assessment of the current standing and challenges of 20 startups within the space/satellite value chain.  | Published July 2016

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Top NewSpace Startups to Watch is an assessment of the current standing and challenges of 20 startups within the space/satellite value chain. Each company is presented in a highly detailed profile, including its business model, funding history, key partners, competitive environment, target markets, and success factors in need of achievement; areas covered in the report include satcom constellations, space exploration & service, Earth observation, and equipment startups.



The trajectory of these startups' impact can be described as either incremental (e.g, adding launch capacity to a supply-constrained market), disruptive (e.g., shifting the fundamental economic model for their own segment), or enabling (e.g., shifting a fundamental economic model for an upstream or downstream market). Contemplation of exit strategies and impacts provide frameworks for tracking these startups over time.

Functional areas attracting a great deal of startup interest incude Earth observation, satellite communications (satcom), and space transportation (i.e., launch) and exploration. Some balance between these three areas allows for inclusion as well of two companies distributing equipment whose new technology may enable different economic models.

Several themes have emerged as success factors. Market and application development are predictably prevalent. Companies who are struggling to raise funding would generally benefit from an anchor customer to provide some comfort to investors about the market possibility; this seems to manifest in partnering approaches being taken to distribution (and supplier relationships as well for that matter). In looking at overlap between these operations, as well as overlap with other existing businesses, it is noticeable that there are some areas in which the first to launch could stop a competing startup from completing their investment, rewarding the first mover with a sustainable advantage.


Report Elements

  • 20 in-depth profiles, over 90 pages
  • Detailed view of potential business opportunities
  • Price starting at 4,000 Euros

 

While not an overt selection criteria, startups were evaluated with an eye toward balancing representation in the sample by sub-segment. Functional areas that are attracting a great deal of startup interest include Earth observation, satellite communications (satcom) constellations, and space transportation (i.e., launch) and exploration. Some balance between these three areas allows for inclusion as well of two companies distributing equipment whose new technology may enable different economic models.

Approach


One of the greatest challenges in producing a report aiming to profile a limited number of companies is selecting which companies to include. For this report, selection was based primarily on three pragmatic criteria. First, they had to have been founded no earlier than 2009. Second, as this report is titled "Top NewSpace Startups to Watch," the companies had to demonstrate reasonable probability of generating noteworthy events in the next 18-36 months. The space industry and investor community may, of necessity, take a long view of investment frontiers, so there may be companies of interest who will not have seminal events by 2019. Those have been excluded from the sample of this current report, but could be re-evaluated for future editions. The final criterion for inclusion was the transparency of the company, in particular sufficient information available to be able to recognize where the company fit within the space and satellite value chain.

Sources

In consideration of the need for startup companies to manage public discussion as well as the desire for Euroconsult to retain its independence, no interviews or outreach to subject companies was undertaken specifically for this report. Euroconsult has differing levels of prior knowledge of the companies profiled. Sources for information on the companies themsleves came from company websites, public interviews with executive team members, industry news publications, and where available, specialized public coverage. Information used for assessment of competition and markets comes from Euroconsult's knowledge base and proprietary databases. For investment data, we relied on public filings with the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and information aggregator CrunchBase.

 


The companies profiled for this report include:

Satcom Constellations

  • BridgeSat
  • Cloud Constellation
  • LeoSat
  • OneWeb
  • Outernet

 

Space Exploration & Services

  • Deep Space Industries (DSI)
  • Firefly
  • Nanoracks
  • Planetary Resources
  • Spaceflight

 

Earth Observation

  • Blacksky Global
  • Hera Systems
  • OmniEarth
  • Planet
  • Satellogic
  • Spire
  • Tempus Global Data
  • UrtheCast

 

Equipment

  • Accion Systems
  • Kymeta

Each profile includes:

Page 1: Outlook

  • Value proposition: How does the company's product help its customers?
  • Business model: What is the overall operating strategy and approach to market?
  • Key information: Facts at a glance
  • Funding history: How much has been funded, who has invested, what stages of financing have been completed?

 

Page 2: Innovations

  • Concept: How does the company deliver its product - what underlying technologies are used and what is new or innovative about the approach?
  • Product: Visual depiction of what is being produced
  • Innovative features: At the highest level, what innovations are brought to the table in terms of product development, technology, and/or distribution methods?

 

Page 3: Environment

  • Key partners: What is the company's approach to partnering strategies? What are the core areas in which the company needs partners? With whom has it established partnering relationships to date?
  • Competitive environment: Who else is selling similar products? What substitute products or technologies exist or are being developed?
  • Target markets: How is the target market defined? Who are they?

 

Page 4: Next

  • Success factors: What needs to happen for this company to be successful? What can they control and what is beyond their control? This may include market, technology or application development, regulatory, cost, or other factors that affect the company's ability to reach its goals.
  • Road map: What major events of an operational, financial, or technological nature are planned or expected within the next three years?


Editor-in-chief
Sima Fishman, Managing Director, Euroconsult USA

Development team

Maxime Puteaux, Consultant
Brent Prokosh, Consultant
Sunil Manjunath, Consultant
Mengti Guo, Consultant

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