Lomazzo (Co) July, 25th 2023 Leaf Space SpA (‘Leaf Space’), a leading global provider of ground segment services for satellite operators, today announced that it has successfully completed a capital increase for a total of €20 million ($22 million) on top of the availability by the European Investment Bank of a loan for a further €15 million through Venture Debt.
Launched in 2014, the Italian-headquartered company based in Lomazzo (Como) currently supports around 80 satellites and achieved for the first time this March more than 10,000 successful satellite passes during a single month. Since 2020, it has seen a three-fold year-over-year increase in core business revenue and significant growth in capacity demand.
The round was subscribed by lead investors CDP Venture Capital Sgr (through Fondo Evoluzione) and Neva Sgr, alongside SIMEST and Digital Transition Fund – part of the CDP S.p.A. group. SIMEST has also carried out its first operation through the Single Venture Capital Fund, the new direct investment tool dedicated to the internationalization of Italian start-ups and SMEs. The existing shareholders RedSeed Ventures, Primo Space, and Whysol Investments, all subscribed to the capital increase and contributed to the new funding round, which builds on the success of a previous initiative three years ago. Furthermore, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed an additional €15 million in Venture Debt to the Company, and the transaction is in its finalization stage.
“The €20 million of secured funding from new and existing equity investors add up to the €15 million venture debt provided by the European Investment Bank, although to be fully finalized, and underscore the confidence in Leaf Space’s capabilities and the company’s potential for continued growth,” said Jonata Puglia, Leaf Space CEO and co- founder. “It further validates our success and market position as the second largest Ground Segment-as-a-Service (GSaaS) operator in the world”.
“This funding will enable us to further expand our global network of ground stations as well as add several new locations worldwide. We also plan to support new frequencies for remote sensing satellites, continue simplifying the user experience of our services, hire new talent to scale up our activities, and proactively work on new segments of the market and special projects with customers and partners”.
Giovanni Pandolfi Bortoletto, CSO & co-founder, said: “Within the next 10 years, we want to empower a future where spacecraft – regardless of their mission, application, orbit or deep space destination – are seamlessly serviceable and integrated to a plug-and-play (PnP) connectivity service”.
“We are progressing towards efficient, fully automated, and ubiquitous communications with satellites, which will facilitate the ongoing and sustainable expansion of the space ecosystem.
In this context, Leaf Space facilitates such communications with space infrastructures through its automatic scheduler – the proprietary algorithm on which Network Cloud Engine and a distributed antenna network are based – and lays the foundation for new ones not possible yet today”.
Leaf Space’s ground segment services are essential for managing satellite communications, data downlink and uplink operations for satellite operators globally. The company’s advanced software solutions, combined with its network of ground stations and expert team, have made it a trusted partner in the satellite industry.
CDP Venture-Fondo Evoluzione
“Leaf Space’s first-of-its-kind Network Cloud Engine is revolutionizing the satellite communications industry and has the potential to bring about a disruption to the industry comparable to the shift from manual to automatic switching in telephone exchanges. With a growing market and volume of data and satellite information, transferring them efficiently and conveniently will be increasingly important”, says Mario Scuderi, Head of the Evolution Fund and helped in the investment by Federico Clementi and Lorenzo Alibrandi.
“As Neva SGR, we are excited to be part of Leaf Space’s journey and contribute to their continued success in revolutionizing satellite communications. We congratulate Leaf Space on this milestone and look forward to witnessing their advancements in the industry. Neva continues to invest in Italian excellence and in a sector, such as aerospace, which is central to Italian economy.” explains Mario Costantini, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Neva SGR.
“We invested in Leaf Space when it was no more than a project on a blank sheet, and we are proud to see it increasingly becoming an Italian excellence in the world in a strategic sector such as aerospace”, says Elisa Schembari, President of RedSeed Ventures and former President of Leaf Space.
“I am very enthusiastic about this important round, which makes it one of the most financed Italian startups. For us at RedSeed, this is a further validation that our investment selection methodology works on very early-stage companies as was Leaf Space in 2016 when we were the only ones willing to invest in Jonata’s and Giovanni’s idea of making ground segment services accessible to the smallsat market at lower costs”, adds Roberto Zanco, CEO of RedSeed Ventures.
“As early investors, we are proud to see Leaf Space grow and consolidate their business even further. Leaf Space is bringing a significant contribution to the satellite industry with their services tailored to the needs of smallsat operators. The new services addressing high-growth space segments will be key to further strengthening their position in the GSaaS market.” comments Giorgio Minola, General Partner at Primo Space and Primomiglio SGR.
Notes to Editors
About Leaf Space
Leaf Space operates a fully owned, globally distributed network of ground stations, empowering satellite operators to communicate with their spacecraft in the simplest and most flexible way. Leaf Space enables TT&C (Telemetry, Tracking, and Command) and payload data transmissions via an easy-to-use interface, a proprietary autonomous scheduling software, and its network’s global coverage. Founded in 2014, Leaf Space has offices in Lomazzo (Italy) and in Delaware (US).
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