Elon Musk famously vows he won’t take SpaceX public until it meets core targets, but a company specializing in high-res Earth imagery is tapping the Canadian public market to ensure sufficient capital to reach its goals.
And the plan just might be working. UrtheCast, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the “UR” ticker, released third-quarter financial results showing significant topline growth since the Vancouver-based company’s first-ever financials last fourth quarter, when it posted $3.9 million in revenue thanks to a $65 million contract with an initial undisclosed customer.
That contract was for non-core engineering services. The company’s core aims are to provide ultra-high-definition video to commercial customers from the International Space Station, where its camera is already operating, and a constellation of satellites set to launch and begin operation in the next several years.
In the most recent quarter — for which UrtheCast reported $9.3 million in total revenue on Nov. 10 — the company’s ISS camera finally began commercial operations, albeit in limited fashion due to some early glitches.
UrtheCast saw $17.5 million in total revenue during the first nine months of 2015.
The company, which absorbed $4.8 million in losses during 2014, saw $11.9 million in third-quarter red ink and $17.4 million over the first nine months of 2015.
Those sorts of losses aren’t unusual for a start-up tech company, and UrtheCast could also point to “advanced negotiations with an anchor tenant customer” for its planned 16-satellite constellation, with a memo of understanding for $175 million.
The company has contract backlogs for data sales and engineering services of more than $100 million, plus $30 million in contract options.
UrtheCast’s latest results include revenue from its acquisition of Madrid-based satellite business Deimos Imaging from Spanish utility Elecnor SA this summer.