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Australian-Luxembourg Kleos Space Raises $8 Million, Bets on Australian Contracts

Artist’s conception of a Kleos Space Earth observation satellite. Image courtesy of Kleos Space.

Luxembourg-Australian-based company, Kleos Space S.A., has successfully closed an AUS$11 million (U.S.$8 million) funding round and will begin trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, 24 August 2018, at 11:00 a.m.

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kleos Space, Andy Bowyer, believes that the interest shown in Kleos Space by investors is reflective of the market’s current desire to advance satellite-based intelligence gathering, particularly in Australia.

Backed by the government of Luxembourg, the company’s satellites will be able to geolocate radio transmissions from anywhere on Earth, detecting where the transmission was transmitted from and when.

Plans to construct the Kleos’ first satellites are already underway by Danish New Space company GomSpace. After the successful first mission, Kleos hopes to increase its number of satellite systems and strengthen the company’s service offering.

Kleos Space is betting that Australia will prove to be a lucrative market for its proposed services. In May 2018, the Australian government introduced legislation aimed at growing Australia’s satellite launch capability, and announced it will provide AUS$26 million (U.S.$18.9 million) to establish a national space agency. In 2017 the Government also pledged to invest AUS$500 million (U.S.$363.75 million) in improving Australia’s space-based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

Mr. Bowyer said that the investment round had received significant interest from Australian-based institutional groups. The company’s listing comes at a time where governments around the world are seeking new technology to protect their borders that Kleos believes will provide a suite of solutions.

Mr. Bowyer added that the firm has a global first-mover advantage to work with governments and commercial information users in the global AUS$41 billion (U.S.$29.8 billion) ISR market. Kleos then aims to grow its customer base into wider non-maritime and non-defence markets, such as environmental protection, search and rescue, and insurance services.

The Kleos Space CEO also said that the company is aiming to place 20 satellites in Low Earth Orbit in order to provide continuous worldwide coverage. This will improve the company’s service offering by providing surveillance across a number of markets, with near real-time information tailored to a customer’s needs.

Peter Round, Chairman of Kleos Space and former Capabilities Director at the European Defence Agency (EDA), hopes that the Australian Government will become one of their future customers in the company’s regional expansion plans. He noted that with Australia’s large coastline borders under constant threat of human trafficking and illegal fishing, Kleos satellite technology will offer an alternative to current land-based solutions, which are expensive, technically limited by range, and subject to counter-measures.

It is clear that Australia is seeking new technologies to support its defence operations, border protection, and humanitarian missions, and Kleos Space plans to leverage its Canberra-based office to align with these Australian Government initiatives.

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