South Korean ground station operator Contec raises Series C round for global expansion

SEOUL, South Korea — Contec stated June 10 that it had raised 61 billion received ($47.3 million) in a Collection C funding spherical to pursue its objective of constructing a worldwide floor station community and working its personal Earth remark satellites. 

Together with 13.6 billion received raised within the two earlier funding rounds, the South Korean firm has raised 74.6 billion received ( or practically $58 million) because it was based in 2015 as a spin-off from the Korea Aerospace Analysis Institute. Contec is planning to go public subsequent yr, lately hiring Daeshin Securities to handle the IPO.

The Collection C spherical was led by home enterprise capital Spring Ventures, with six different establishments becoming a member of as new traders. It attracted extra funding from three current traders, Korea Funding Companions, Korean Improvement Financial institution and Atinum Funding.

“We’re planning to go public subsequent yr, with out a pre-IPO funding spherical,” Contec founder and CEO Lee Sung-hee instructed table4. “To that finish, there are numerous issues we must always do with the fund raised this time.”

Lee stated the corporate presently operates six floor stations, together with two in South Korea (Seoul and Jeju Island) and 4 abroad in Eire, Alaska, Sweden and South Africa. Six extra might be operational in Malaysia, Australia, South Korea’s port metropolis of Busan, and Chile by the tip of November.

“We intention at working twelve RF floor stations in 10 areas world wide by the tip of the yr,” the chief govt stated. “We’ll construct three extra in 2023, every in Portugal, Mexico and Southeast Asia. Meaning we’ll function 15 [radio-frequency]floor stations by the tip of 2023.”

Lee stated the corporate may even function three optical floor stations by 2024. “The primary optical floor station might be operational in Australia by November 2023. A contract for this has already been signed,” he stated. “We’ll construct two extra in 2024, one within the Center East and the opposite in america. Whereas it’s not determined the place to place it within the U.S., there are candidates: Texas, Colorado or New Mexico.”

Contec tasks quickly rising demand for optical floor stations as extra satellites undertake laser hyperlinks as the first means for speaking with floor stations.

House situational consciousness is one other market the corporate is planning to faucet.  Lee stated Contec will go into SSA companies subsequent yr. To that finish, Contec will set up a cluster of 4 telescopes in an undisclosed location subsequent yr and two extra the next yr.

On prime of this, Contec is planning to develop and function its personal fleet of Earth remark satellites. Lee stated the corporate would quickly signal a contract with a European satellite tv for pc maker to collectively develop a synthetic-aperture radar satellite tv for pc able to producing 50-centimeter-resolution imagery. 

“We’ll proceed with improvement as effectively as attainable with the intention to launch the [synthetic aperture radar] satellite tv for pc within the third or fourth quarter of 2023,” Lee stated. “Then we’ll develop and launch another.” 

In the meantime, Contec’s first electro-optical satellite tv for pc is about to launch within the fourth quarter of 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, in keeping with the chief govt. Contec contracted in 2021 with U.S. smallsat mission integrator NanoAvionics for a 16-unit cubsesat bus will carry a Contec laser communications terminal and a 1.5-meter-resolution imager provided by South Africa’s Simera Sense.

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