AUSTIN, Texas & DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Albedo, a company developing low-flying satellites that will deliver ultra high resolution images, today announced a $48M Series A financing round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Shield Capital, bringing the company’s total funding to $58M in less than two years since inception.
Participation in the round included new investors Republic Capital, Giant Step Capital, and C16 Ventures, along with existing investors Initialized Capital, Joe Montana’s Liquid 2, Kevin Mahaffey, and other undisclosed participants.
Albedo is developing very-low-earth-orbit (VLEO) satellites that will co-collect 10 centimeter (cm) optical imagery and 2 meter thermal infrared imagery. The resolution of Albedo’s imagery is unprecedented in the commercial market and will enable applications that have been limited by lower resolution satellites or operational limitations of imagery collected from planes.
The Series A funding will enable the company to complete development of its first satellite and develop the software to support satellite operations and deliver imagery to users.
The breadth of commercial applications for Albedo’s imagery spans markets including precision agriculture, HD mapping, property insurance, utilities vegetation management, construction and real estate, pipeline monitoring, urban planning, and many others. While these markets benefit from the high fidelity 10 cm resolution of the optical imagery on its own, Albedo’s unique ability to co-collect thermal infrared imagery is an added game-changer for many applications. By offering new products that fuse the two types of images together, additional insights can be extracted for these markets including temperature differences, moisture measurements, energy efficiency, and activity indication.
“To reach net zero, we will need high fidelity visual and thermal data that is available at low cost and high frequency, enabling a host of earth science focused climate solutions,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “Albedo is the first company we’ve seen that can provide this data that will enable applications for precision agriculture, forestry management, and wildfire prevention and management.”
As demonstrated by the conflict in Ukraine, it has been proven that there is immense value in commercial high-resolution imagery for the national security interests of the United States and its Allies to help keep their citizens safe. Using Albedo’s 10-cm resolution imagery, analysts will be able to identify key items of intelligence—including military vehicle types, aircraft markings, missile test characteristics, and other information—to accurately inform decision makers and provide awareness to the broader public. Enabled by new U.S. regulations on commercial remote sensing, Albedo was recently awarded the first-ever U.S. license to sell 10 cm imagery commercially.
“Albedo is developing the world’s first commercially available high-resolution imaging capability, which holds tremendous promise for both commercial and defense customers,” said Raj Shah, Managing Director of Shield Capital. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Topher and the Albedo founding team.”
By rethinking the traditional approach to earth observation satellites, namely developing a stable, agile platform to operate at very low altitudes, Albedo is able to achieve substantial cost reductions compared to historical implementations of high resolution satellite imaging. Developing the underlying core technologies for VLEO will not only enable unprecedented resolutions in earth observation, but also avoid contributing to the increasingly crowded space environment that poses a risk to long term space sustainability.
“Beyond the capital, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with two lead investors who reflect the markets with some of the strongest needs for Albedo’s imagery,” said Topher Haddad, co-founder and CEO of Albedo. “We have an exciting and challenging road ahead. With new funding and regulatory risks behind us, it’s time to ramp up our technical development and execute on bringing this capability to market.”
Albedo develops low flying satellites that collect visible and thermal imagery at the highest resolution commercially available. Once launched, the company will operate the satellites to provide imagery-as-a-service to industries including agriculture, insurance, energy, mapping, utilities, and defense. Learn more at https://albedo.com.
About Breakthrough Energy Ventures
Founded by Bill Gates and backed by many of the world’s top business leaders, BEV has raised more than $2 billion in committed capital to support cutting-edge companies that are leading the world to net-zero emissions. BEV is a purpose-built investment firm that is seeking to invest, launch and scale global companies that will eliminate GHG emissions throughout the economy as soon as possible. BEV seeks true breakthroughs and is committed to supporting these entrepreneurs and companies by bringing to bear a unique combination of technical, operational, market and policy expertise.
About Shield Capital
Shield Capital is a Silicon Valley headquartered venture capital firm that supports innovators building solutions for commercial and government customers to secure our future. Shield Capital invests in frontier technologies including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, autonomy, and space. At SHIELD, the mission matters. https://shieldcap.com/.