Spire CEO and founder Peter Platzer, pictured in an archive photo
Photo: Mike Zenari/archives
The European Investment Bank announced during Thursday’s Web Summit a €20m venture loan for Spire Global to support its nanosatellite and technology development.
It’s the first of its kind for the EU bank to directly finance in the new space sector. In addition to supporting up to €20m in venture debt financing for R&D, the move should provide job creation in the grand duchy as Spire scales up, as well as contribute to the development of new applications for customers.
“Spire is pleased to be working with EIB to drive product innovation and scalability in Europe,” Spire CEO and founder Peter Platzer said. “Our satellite constellation is monitoring every point on the planet in near real-time, producing unique datasets that can be processed into decision-making tools that help to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, such as achieving net zero emission targets, illegal fishing, excessive fuel consumption, early warning of extreme weather events, and more efficient movement of global resources.”
The financing is part of EIB’s strategy to support space startups in the EU, as well as cooperate more closely with the European Space Agency, among other players in the sector.
“Like many other sectors, space is undergoing disruptive changes driven by innovation and digitalisation,” said EIB VP Teresa Czerwińska. “We shouldn’t miss the opportunity to play a decisive role in the emerging New Space industry and reap the many benefits it can bring to the whole economy and Europe’s future competitiveness.”
EIB states that the space economy is growing nearly double the pace of the broader, pre-covid economy, while ESA estimates a €6 economic return for every €1 invested in the sector, meaning it’s a key component of European growth as well.
The move, Czerwińka added, “shows that the EU can attract late-stage, fast-growing companies that develop new business models and commercialise new technologies in sectors that will define our future.”
Spire owns and operates the largest constellation of commercial nanosatellites which provide aviation, weather, martime and other tracking data.
In 2019 Spire Global and the Luxembourg Space Agency announced the launch of an open source “data lake” to provide space data analytics free of charge to local startups, public agencies and research institutes.