US Air Force Selects Orbital Insight as Big Bet and Awards Strategic Financing SBIR Phase II Contract

Company will receive part of $1B in strategic financing contracts from the United States Air Force to help detect anomalies across the world

PR Newswire

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Orbital Insight, the geospatial analytics company, has been tentatively awarded a SBIR Phase II contract with United States Air Force’s (USAF) AFVentures Strategic Financing (STRATFI). Orbital Insight will help the USAF detect anomalies across the world with analytics powered by artificial intelligence and multiple geospatial data sources such as satellite imagery, SAR, AIS and IoT devices.

Introduced last year, Orbital Insight’s GO platform is purpose built for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community to deliver insights in a cloud-agnostic, secure and readily deployable environment. The technology supports critical activity-based intelligence by helping spot trends buried within billions of data points, such as economic patterns associated with global ports, airports and energy infrastructure.

“Entire job functions are dedicated to monitoring satellite imagery and other data sources, but the volume of data is too massive to access and analyze at scale—and our national security depends on those answers,” said Dr. James Crawford, Orbital Insight CEO and founder. “We’re honored to continue our partnership with the US Air Force and empower them with machine learning to zoom in on the physical world, reveal hidden changes faster and proactively inform warfighter decisions.”

AFVentures was created to serve as an umbrella organization for the Air Force’s efforts to work with small businesses while funding critical technologies for the military. The program is a joint endeavor between the service’s Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs, USAF’s in-house innovation incubator AFWERX and Air Force Acquisitions. AFVentures has designated a total of nearly $1B in strategic financing, with $550M for 21 small businesses as part of Phase II’s four-year, fixed-price contracts.

“If we’re not working with the best innovators in the world, then we will lose the technology advantage that we have,” said Dr. Will Roper, US Air Force Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Assistant Secretary. “Getting this right is not just innovation, it is imperative.”

Orbital Insight has previously collaborated with AFWERX in two previous SBIR phases. In addition to its work with the Air Force, Orbital Insight has also entered into strategic partnerships with firms such as Airbus to co-develop powerful change analysis and insights for Airbus Defense and Intelligence customers.

About Orbital Insight

Orbital Insight is the geospatial analytics company that helps organizations understand what’s happening on and to the Earth. Customers including Unilever, Airbus, RBC Capital Markets, The World Bank and the U.S. Department of Defense use Orbital Insight’s self-service analytics platform to make smarter business decisions, build sustainable supply chains and improve national security. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Orbital Insight is backed by Sequoia, GV and Goldman Sachs. For more information, visit

Contact: Michael Lapides, [email protected]

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SOURCE Orbital Insight