HawkEye 360 has completed out a nearly $15 million investment round led by Raytheon [RTN] that will help it accelerate development of its first cluster of commercial satellites that are expected to launch in 2019.
In addition to Raytheon, the $14.9 million Series A-3 funding round includes the U.S. division of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., and the equity investing firms Razor’s Edge Ventures, Shield Capital Partners, Space Angels, and Allied Minds. Hawkeye 360 said on Monday that it had raised an additional $5.3 million in a second closing as part of the $14.9 million Series A-3 round.
HawkEye 360, which is based in Northern Virginia, is developing low-flying, small satellites that will collect radio frequencies for geospatial services.
Raytheon said that its investment will strengthen its alliance with HawkEye 360 with an aim to provide data analytics to government customers.
“Our plan is to fuse HawkEye 360’s geospatial information with other relevant data sources, further augmenting the intelligence we provide to our U.S. and international customers,” Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services segment, said in a statement. “Similar to our alliances with other commercial companies, HawkEye 360’s constellation will offer our customers advanced capabilities, in this case expanded coverage and deeper insights, and importantly, at a lower cost.”
HawkEye 360 will launch its first cluster of three Pathfinder satellites later this year with the first commercial clusters planned for launch in 2019 with completion of the constellation expected in 2020. The Series A-3 funding round is aimed at the commercial clusters as HawkEye 360 already has the investment backing for the Pathfinder satellites.
The Pathfinder satellites will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket later this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., with dozens of other small satellites as part of a rideshare mission being integrated by Spaceflight.
HawkEye 360 plans have six clusters of three satellites each in orbit at full operational capability and eventually plans to have 10 clusters operating.
“This will be a new layer of information unlike anything the geospatial community has had to date,” John Serafini, HawkEye 360’s CEO, said in a statement. “Our alliance with Raytheon will help us to provide unprecedented situational awareness for multiple customer segments and applications.”
Raytheon said HawkEye 360’s satellite system will provide “customizable high-precision radio frequency mapping and location-based analytics for applications such as monitoring illegal fishing and tracking cargo fleet logistics.”