The forecasting service features globally available atmospheric and oceanographic weather attributes including, sea surface temperature, ocean currents, wave height, surface wind, and air temperature. The information generated is expected to benefit ports, ships and shipping companies by highlighting risks on specific routes. It could also help firms conserve fuel, and increase productivity.
Spire was also the subject of discussion in parliament this week when CSV MP Laurent Mosar expressed concern about the firm’s loss of €7.2 million in 2018, the first full year of operations of its Luxembourg subsidiary.
Luxembourg deputy prime minister and economy minister Étienne Schneider issued a written response on Monday saying that it was common for startups, particularly those with large investments, to have negative results during the startup and expansion iterations. “The occurrence of losses during this period is therefore not a reliable indicator leading to the conclusion that the company is developing unfavourably,” Schneider said.
Learning from the past
Luxembourg has already seen one newspace firm bow out of the country because of cashflow issues. Planetary Resources, in which Luxembourg had transferred €12m in a direct capital investment and €13m in grants, was purchased by ConsenSys, who paid a symbolic price for Luxembourg’s stake.
Spire’s technology differs from Planetary Resources in that it uses small, shoe-box sized satellites to gather data across a number of areas. In April 2019, Spire Global announced it had already launched 100 such satellites. According to Schneider, it has a framework contract with the European Space Agency for the development of value-added services, with a budget of €10 million, covering half of the development costs. He added that around two thirds of this money had been committed to concrete projects.
The venture, which began at the International Space University in Strasbourg, raised its first finance of $102,000 on Kickstarter in 2012. Spire Global then raised $142m, of which $15m came from the Luxembourg Future Fund, in 2017.
In December, Spire Global CEO Peter Platzer announced at a conference in the United States that he had signed a partnership with the European Space Agency to use Galileo data. The deal was worth $2.7 billion over 25 years, he told CNBC.
According to Spire’s Wednesday press release, Spire Maritime closed 2018 with a 160% year on year revenue growth.