New Space

Spire gets ever closer to profitability

Customers sign and customers stay. Peter Platzer and Spire have come close to $100m in recurring revenue in the start-up's tenth year, and the company is looking forward to its break-even. Photo: Maison Moderne/Archives

Customers sign and customers stay. Peter Platzer and Spire have come close to $100m in recurring revenue in the start-up's tenth year, and the company is looking forward to its break-even. Photo: Maison Moderne/Archives

Despite an 85% increase in revenues to $80.27m in 2022, in line with its forecasts, space company Spire has not reached profitability for its tenth anniversary, its directors announced on Wednesday evening during the presentation of annual results. But this is only a matter of time.

“As Spire completes its tenth year, we are incredibly proud of the growth we have experienced. Reaching nearly $100m in recurring revenue is a significant milestone, but we are even more encouraged by the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Spire CEO Peter PlatzerPeter Platzer. “With a total addressable market approaching $100bn for our marine, aviation, weather and space services solutions, a subscription-based business model and a focus on profitability, we remain committed to driving the company’s growth toward near-term profitability and providing actionable insights to make the world a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable place.”

Revenues, already up 52% in 2021 compared to 2020, jumped again, by 85% to $80.27m and the group is already anticipating a 30-36% increase this year (from $104m to $109m in revenues). The documents released on Wednesday evening do not give the split between government and commercial customers. This split was 56%-44% last year. Considering losses of $89.4m in 2022 and forecasts of less than $70m next year, 2023 would be a major milestone for the startup that Forbes called the “Next-Billion company” back in 2017.

Adjusted ebitda towards a better trajectory

The ebitda comes out at -$57.74m, but it is better to look at the evolution of the adjusted ebitda. At -$32.64m, it is heading in the right direction after the -$37.5m of 2021. Next year, it should be better (-$16.5m) than in 2020 (-$17.6m).

“Spire had a great year as we captured revenue growth from new and existing customers, improved margins through scale and leverage, significantly reduced net cash burn quarter-over-quarter, and improved the balance sheet with additional cash sources,” commented Spire CFO Thomas Krywe, a bit more cautiously. “Our guidance for 2023 reflects another year of focus and dedication to growing the business while taking further steps towards our path to profitability and achieving positive free cash flow in 12 to 18 months.”

A key project with DARPA

Over the course of three launches in 2022, the group has added 11 satellites to its constellation of 160 satellites launched in the last ten years. Among developments to follow, Spire won a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) in November for an undisclosed amount. As part of the Ouija programme, the US agency aims to use sensors on low-orbiting satellites to monitor the propagation of high-frequency radio waves in the ionosphere (200-300km above Earth). The idea is to integrate this wave variation directly into the satellites to improve communications from the satellites to government actors.

Following its $70m Series C at the end of 2017, in which the Luxembourg Future Fund participated, the American company had set up a European subsidiary, which now employs around 60 people.

This article was first published in French on Paperjam and translated for Delano.