PARIS — Commercial signals-intelligence satellite constellation startup Kleos Space as signed a contract with small-satellite builder GomSpace for what Kleos said is several system-demonstration satellites to be launched in 2019.
The contract, valued at 2.42 million euros ($2.82 million), follows an earlier deposit of 250,000 euros with GomSpace for what Kleos calls its Kleos Scouting Mission.
Luxembourg-based Kleos’s planned IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has not yet occurred. Kleos Chief Executive Andrew Bowyer said July 26 that the IPO was imminent and that the Scouting Mission is composed of several satellites working as a unit. He declined to specify the number of satellites.
Kleos’s business consists of geolocating radio-frequency signals emitted by assets such as ships that do not necessarily wish to be located. The VHF payload on the Scouting Mission will be used to locate marine vessels without the need for a GPS signal.
Kleos had expected to begin trading on the ASX on July 9 and to raise 11 million Australian dollars, or 6.7 million euros, by selling 55 million shares at 20 Australian cents each: https://bit.ly/2sqcB3Q
In an updated prospectus issued June 13, Kleos said it would use the IPO proceeds, in addition to some 1.9 million euros in existing cash, to fund the IPO expenses and the Scouting Mission, including satellite construction, launch and five years’ insurance, in addition to funding initial system R&D and other operating expenses.
Kleos closed a 1.4-million-euro seed round of financing in February, and has won support from the Luxembourg government’s SpaceResources.lu initiative to stimulate the growth of commercial space-technology ventures that set up shop in Luxembourg.
In a July 26 email, Bowyer said the cost difference between the prospectus and the satellite contract is because the GomSpace work goes “beyond the satellite construction [and] also includes considerable non-recurring engineering (from the R&D line), test equipment – a flat sat (from General costs and R&D line), and launch support.”
He said there has been “no change to the required funds, no new cash needed, no change to the launch cost.”
“The first Kleos satellite system… will perform technology demonstration that will be the keystone for a later global high-capacity constellation. The Scouting Mission will deliver targeted daily services, with the full constellation delivering near-real-time global observation,” Kleos said in a statement accompanying the GomSpace announcement.