Anchor customer deals put UrtheCast in ‘excellent position’

5 December 2017 

Data subscription agreements signed with three “anchor customers” and “multiple incremental customers” have ensured a “stable and highly predictable” revenue stream worth more than C$100m over periods of four to seven years for UrtheCast’s forthcoming UrtheDaily 5m multispectral constellation.

One of those anchor customers is Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology (21AT) of Beijing, which currently leases all the data from the Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL)-built DMC3/Triplesat constellation. 21AT will provide services in China based on UrtheDaily data, following expected launch of its first elements in 2020.

The C$100m milestone was announced on 5 December, along with the 21AT deal. A day earlier, UrtheCast unveiled an agreement with Beijing Space View, operator of China’s two GaoJing/SuperView satellites, “for the mutual global distribution” of their respective product portfolios.

UrtheCast, whose business today is based on the output of the Deimos-1 and -2 satellites of its Madrid-based Deimos Imaging subsidiary and distribution of products from the various PanGeo Alliance satellites, looks to have momentum. In November, the Vancouver-headquartered company signed two key contracts. One is with SSTL, to build the first of an unspecified number of units for the UrtheDaily constellation, based on SSTL-250 platform. The second, worth more than C$100m, is with a confidential customer for the development of a dual-frequency stand-along synthetic aperature radar (SAR) satellite which UrtheCast says will be an “accelerator” for its planned OptiSAR constellation of 16 satellites, to fly in eight tandem pairs of one multispectral and one optical unit.

A funding round expected to close by year-end should “significantly” exceed the $175m needed to develop the UrtheDaily constellation.

And, October saw UrtheCast sign an agreement with Italian Space Agency-Telespazio joint venture e-GEOS to jointly market images from Deimos-1 and -2 and the Italian’s COSMO-SkyMed SAR constellation.

Says chief executive Wade Larson: “We are in an excellent position to confidently move forward with the development of the UrtheDaily constellation and our goal of becoming the pre-eminent provider for the next generation of Earth observation data and analytics services.”

Tiananmen Square in Beijing, September 2015 by Deimos-2 (UrtheCast)