Satellite Imagery Startup Company Albedo Raises $10 Million in Seed Funding Round

By Elijah Labby Sunday, May 2, 2021

Albedo is a startup business that seeks to create a database of high-quality geological satellite imagery, and it has raised $10 million in startup funding to bring that goal to fruition.

Satellite view of San Francisco, California.

Some Background on the Business

Nearly everyone has looked up their house on Google Maps. It can be fun to see a bird’s eye view of places one knows are real, and it can often help, when navigating, to see recognizable landmarks via satellite imagery. The problem, however, with satellite imagery from Google and others who provide such services is that their imagery can be blurry and low-quality.

But Albedo wants to chart a new path forward. The satellite imagery startup company wants to deploy two dozen satellites equipped with high-quality cameras into low orbit. It’s all aimed at improving the quality of the information available about our surroundings as well as the quality of the decisions that one can make once the information is received.

“Our team believes satellite imagery is a valuable resource that should be both accessible and high quality,” the startup business wrote in a post on its company blog. “We are committed to our customers, focused on empowering them to develop analytics and gain insights for their customers and businesses. We are playing at the edges of how traditional New Space technologies have been approached, and we want to shake up the industry as it stands today.”

The Background of the Startup Company

Albedo graduated from startup accelerator YCombinator recently, and their funding is an early and significant sign of a positive trajectory. The startup company has received a total of $10 million in funding, a seed investment led by Initialized Capital with additional contributions from venture capital firms Jetstream, Liquid2 Ventures, and Soma Capital.

The company is part of a slew of businesses attempting to launch satellites into low earth orbit, perhaps the most famous of which is Starlink. Starlink is a project from Elon Musk’s SpaceX that seeks to place thousands of satellites into the atmosphere with the goal of providing universal broadband access for everyone on earth.

But there’s a high bar to enter the satellite business — it can be costly to join and tedious to make one’s way through the restrictive legislative barriers that exist to protect Earth’s atmosphere. Nonetheless, Albedo says it has a way in.

“Prior to May 2020, the regulations on commercial remote sensing were rigid and inflexible,” the company wrote. “However, given the rise of commercial remote sensing and the gradual shift of government budgets to purchasing commercial data, the government created a new regulatory structure which provides a path to licensing novel capabilities.”

Business Valuation and Summary

According to Research and Markets, a market research firm based in Dublin, the global commercial satellite imagery market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of over 12% from a valuation of $2.5 billion in 2020 to a final worth of $6.6 billion in 2027. If those projections are correct, and if everything else goes according to plan, Albedo could be onto something special.

About the Author

Headshot of Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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