Industry First … $50M in Funding for EO to BlackSky from Intelsat

An industry first will create a strategic relationship that pairs Earth observation with a global communications infrastructure. The companies are BlackSky, provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging and global monitoring services, and a $50 million senior secured loan from the global satellite communications company, Intelsat (NYSE: I). BlackSky currently has four 1-meter satellites in orbit with another four slated for launch in early 2020, and plans to have 16 satellites in its constellation by early 2021.

For this transaction, Evercore acted as a financial advisor to BlackSky and PJT Partners acted as financial advisor to Intelsat. The new capital enables BlackSky to further its existing assets and alliances to remain competitive in delivering Earth intelligence faster, with greater accuracy and more affordably. The objective is that over time, BlackSky could incorporate access to Intelsat’s global communications infrastructure, delivering first-to-know insights to customers anywhere in the world. With an established manufacturing capability, mission operations center and sales channels in place, BlackSky is in the process of expanding its constellation of smallsats that the company declares “will deliver the highest revisit rate in the industry.”

The company is also leading the industry in fusing AI/ML-powered computer vision, high revisit rate imagery from orbital assets and open-source intelligence to provide customers with comprehensive, deep insights about the locations in the world they care about.

Brian E. O’Toole, President and CEO of BlackSky stated that BlackSky is enabling a whole new level of global intelligence by leveraging the economics of small satellites so that their customers will always be the first to know. It takes a lot of expertise, engineering and capital to make smallsats viable; BlackSky is the first company to overcome these challenges with proven economies of scale. This latest partnership is a vote of confidence in their ability to deliver industry leading insights to their customers from one of the biggest players in the market.

Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler offered that, BlackSky is well positioned to be a significant player in the expanding Earth observation sector, which they believe benefits from accelerating trends including cloud computing, change detection, predictive analytics and machine learning. They believe a significant number of commercial and government sector customers will increasingly rely on geospatial intelligence. Their investment will be used to fund enhancements to the current BlackSky infrastructure and will serve as a springboard for a commercial alliance with Intelsat and their Intelsat General government subsidiary.


For all involved in the satellite and space industry and the various market segments that enhance these dynamic environments, the 2020 SmallSat Symposium is invaluable.

The 2020 SmallSat Symposium begins on February 3, 2020, with workshops on the first day. Then the Conference continues from February 4 to 6 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The SmallSat Symposium is hosted by Satnews Publishers which, since 1983, has been a provider of satellite news, media and events. This information packed forum enables you and your company to secure a larger portion of market share as well as to take a step into the next stage of your company’s, or organization’s, growth.

The personal connections at the SmallSat Symposium enable attendees to network with established organizations, subject-matter experts as well as ‘New Space’ entrants.

The SmallSat Symposium will focus on the daily changes in new technologies and the business environment that is shaping the implementation of SmallSat constellations, SmallSat launchers, the challenges facing the SmallSat developer and actors as well as the enormous benefits of these advanced technologies that will benefit our world.

This event attracts more than 100 diverse speakers, all of whom possess deep industry experience. Additionally, numerous opportunities exist to mingle and network with peers while enjoying exceptional, complimentary meals and refreshment breakfast.

Learn more at this direct link…

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