SkyWatch Space Applications has raised $3.2 million to continue the development of the world’s largest aggregation and distribution platform for satellite data.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the Canadian startup has built a distribution platform, dubbed EarthCache, to allow companies to integrate Earth observation satellite data into their own software applications at relatively low cost.
In turn, SkyWatch says that will allow satellite operators to distribute data to underserved markets more efficiently. The financing was led by Sinai Ventures and Space Angels — both with offices in New York and elsewhere — along with other venture capital and angel-funding firms in the U.S. and Canada, including Golden Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, SK Ventures, Globalive Capital and ARC Angel Fund.
The rapidly expanding Earth observation data and services market, which has prompted the slotting of thousands of satellite launches for the next decade, is projected to grow from a $3 billion segment last year to $15 million in annual revenue by 2026
SkyWatch will help overcome a hurdle to continued rapid growth by making it easier to create new, non-traditional satellite-data customers in the private sector, SkyWatch chief James Slifierz said.
“Because Earth observation data has the potential to positively impact everyday life in so many ways, everyone should have the ability to easily incorporate this unique data type into their software applications,” Slifierz said. “However, the barriers have been far too high until now. SkyWatch was started with this vision, and we’ve spent the past three years developing our platform alongside our early adopters.”
SkyWatch will use its new funding for strategic hires, product development and partner outreach.
“SkyWatch is currently negotiating distribution rights with more than 30 satellite operators to service customers across agriculture, energy, finance, infrastructure, market intelligence and many other industries,” the company said.