Italian New Space company Leaf Space, a specialist in ground station solutions for small satellite constellations operated by companies such as Switzerland’s Astrocast and Australia’s Fleet, is looking to triple the number of ground station locations it operates from four (in Europe) to twelve around the globe, and is about to undertake a capital raising campaign to do so.
“What we are doing right now is trying to scale up all the infrastructure in a faster way because we have customer demand, more than what we thought,” Giovanni Pandolfi, Leaf Space’s chief technology officer, told Space News in an interview last week. “We need to get there much faster than we originally planned. That is why we will open another round in the coming months.”
At present, Leaf Space operates ground stations in Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Lithuania and is seeking funding to open another eight ground stations in other continents. To date Astrocast and Fleet are Milan-headquartered Leaf Space’s largest customers, though both have yet to complete their 64 and 100-satellite constellations respectively.
This said, Leaf Space’s Pandolfi told Space News that the company is seeing a surge in demand for its ground station services and that there is significant pressure for it to geographically expand its offering.
“The kind of customer requests that we have really needs us to put more investment to use to deliver more stations and to develop new things,” he said. “That’s why we decided to open in the coming months this round to scale up much faster.”
Leaf Space has already raised approximately U.S.$3 million, including funds from the Horizon 2020 Fund operated by the European Commission. The planned funding round aims to raise much more than this, though Pandolfi did not provide more specific details to Space News in his interview.