COMPANIES & STRATEGIES - TECHNOLOGY

Space

US space startup spotted by Lux space fund raises $33m



Pictured with Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël (right), Brian Holz left the OneWeb venture that he launched in the early 2010s after having been the technical director of O3b, to create his own start-up with a similar project. (Photo: Stéphane Israël's Twitter account)

Pictured with Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël (right), Brian Holz left the OneWeb venture that he launched in the early 2010s after having been the technical director of O3b, to create his own start-up with a similar project. (Photo: Stéphane Israël's Twitter account)

Mangata, one of the most prominent American space start-ups, announced on Wednesday that it had raised $33m, notably via the Luxembourg space fund managed by Promus Ventures.

Unlike the Digital Tech Fund, the space fund, called for by former minister of the economy Étienne Schneider and launched by his successor, Franz Fayot (LSAP), is not strictly aimed at investing in space start-ups based in Luxembourg or even in Europe.

This explains why Orbital Ventures--the official name of the space fund managed by Promus Ventures--is involved in fundraising elsewhere on the planet. This week it was revealed by the Mangata start-up itself that it was involved in the $33m fundraising, led primarily by Playground Global and joined by Singapore-based Temasek, South Korea's KT SAT, Scottish Enterprise in the UK, and MetaVC Partners, also in the US.

The start-up, whose name comes from the Swedish word for "the path of light from the moon", is a sign that the storytelling is already well underway and promises a new constellation of 32 high and medium orbit satellites to deliver 5G-like connectivity, with very small data centres on the ground, to bring data closer to where it is needed, the so-called "edge".

It is a project not unlike that which SES is currently refining. And that is no coincidence: it is the fruit of CEO  Brian Holz’s 35 years of experience. Holz was technical director of O3b, which was purchased by the Luxembourg satellite operator, before launching the OneWeb project.

Earlier this year, StartUs Insights magazine, which scanned nearly 1,500 telecoms start-ups, named Mangata as one of the five to watch. The first satellites should be launched in 2024.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.