HawkEye 360's CEO claims that, thanks to a recent investment round and growing demand for radio-frequency geolocation capabilities, the business has reached a "milestone" on its path to profitability and perhaps will go public.
HawkEye 360 reported on July 13 that it had raised $1 million in a Series D-58 round led by BlackRock. According to the company's statement at the time, this money will enable the creation of new satellites and analysis tools.
HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini stated in an interview during World Satellite Business Week on September 13 that the company has raised $368 million so far. The company may not need to raise any additional private capital after this round.
“If we meet our revenue projections, which are conservative and we think we can, we won't need to raise any more private financing,” he said. He said profitability “is on the horizon for us,” but did not give a time frame for getting there.
In a presentation at an investor conference a year ago, Serafini said the company was exploring going public via an initial public offering (IPO) of stock within two to three years. That remains the current intention, according to Serafini, although the timing will be determined by both market conditions and the current health of the company.
The timing of the IPO, which he claims is still two to three years away, “has a lot to do with whether the market is open or closed,” he said. “The biggest question is whether we can achieve the necessary milestones,” such as achieving profitability and appropriate unit economics. “That's what we can influence, and we're moving quickly to achieve that.”
He claimed that HawkEye 360 is in a strong position as a result of new funding and the company's expansion. He claimed that we are at an inflection point in terms of funding, plans to launch new satellites, and the creation of analytical tools that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence. “All of this puts us in a great position for the next 12 to 18 months.”
Serafini predicted that governments will continue to be HawkEye 360's biggest customers for the foreseeable future. This covers defense and intelligence applications, as well as more general security applications, such as monitoring both civilian and illegal fishing or deforestation.
“Focusing on where the money is was one of the guiding principles we used when starting the company. In his view, defense and intelligence are where remote sensing ultimately makes money. “If you can't serve these customers, you can't operate as a business.”
Since a year and a half ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine, part of that work has been finding the origins of GPS and other radio frequency interference. Serafini declined to go into detail about the company's work there, but argued that the conflict has further highlighted both the importance of commercial remote sensing capabilities in general and the need to work directly with customers.
“Throwing remote sensing data over a fence is probably not going to be successful,” he said. “One of the areas of growth for HawkEye is understanding our customers' tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance needs, as well as the networks and systems in which they operate; “so our data can flow as seamlessly as possible into their existing systems, producing another layer of valuable intelligence rather than simply overwhelming them with additional data.”
Remote Sensing Satellites
Currently, 21 satellites in orbit provide data. A Rocket Lab Electron from New Zealand is expected to launch six more later this year. Serafini said the company hopes to reach its long-term goal of 2025 satellites in 2026 clusters of three satellites by 20 or 60.
These satellites will include elements of HawkEye 360's current Block 2 and future Block 3 designs and will be manufactured by both the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto's Aerospace Research Institute and HawkEye 360's own facility in Northern Virginia. According to him, plans for Block 3 are “very variable” and could include two separate designs, one smaller to focus on specific signals and the other larger to do “very advanced” work.
HawkEye 360 also announced on September 12 that Rob Rainhart, the company's COO since 2019, had been appointed president.
“Rob and I have been partners for eight years,” Serafini said. Rainhart will continue to lead internal operations as president. I thought this was the perfect time to promote him to president because he's running the business on schedule.
Source: Space news
📩 14/09/2023 11:50