Why We Invested in E-Space
Prime Movers Lab is proud to announce that we have led a $50 million financing round in E-Space, a pioneering manufacturer and operator of a mesh network of small “micro-satellites,” carrying up to hundreds of thousands of secure communication nodes. This network of satellites will help businesses and governments access the dynamism of space telecommunications to solve problems here on Earth. I’m thrilled to be joining the board of E-Space as part of this funding round.
The catalyst in our investment derives first and foremost from the immense talent, drive, and track record of its founder and CEO, Greg Wyler. Greg is an icon in the industry and has been leading the evolution of the satellite industry for 15 years through his companies O3B Networks, OneWeb, and now E-Space. As with Greg’s previous companies, E-Space carries a bold vision for the future: pioneering a mesh network with up to hundreds of thousands of secure communication satellites, enabling a new generation of space-based services and applications. When looked at through the lens of today’s satellite communication (SATCOM) paradigm, a constellation of hundreds of thousands of satellites might seem like an impossible goal, even farcical, but Greg has a proven track record of not just predicting but bringing about the future. Ten years ago, when Greg launched OneWeb and announced a goal of building a constellation with thousands of satellites, it was viewed as impossible by many, but today, it is de rigueur for satellite constellations.
In computing, we’ve seen proliferation driven by a constant move towards smaller, cheaper, and more integrated form factors — i.e. the mainframe computer, the PC, and now the iPhone. Greg has been on a similar mission in SATCOM. With OneWeb, he moved from the fully ad hoc manufacturing process of geostationary satellites to the first satellite manufacturing plant, allowing him to drive down cost and increase throughput. With E-Space, we’ve now reached the “iPhone stage” of SATCOM — a cost and form factor that will allow for true ubiquitous SATCOM access across the developing and developed world. The company is still in stealth mode so we, unfortunately, can’t go into the many scientific and engineering developments that were required to bring about this change but, suffice to say, it is a true step-function improvement over what exists today.
A core part of our investment thesis revolved around ensuring that E-Space’s hundreds of thousands of satellites were not going to exacerbate the orbital debris problem, which remains an existential risk to the entire space industry. We were thrilled to discover that E-Space has sustainability at the heart of its architecture. The system not only carries a lower risk of creating debris with its minuscule cross-sectional area, but it is also on a technical path to actively and sacrificially de-orbit small space debris to preserve access to space for future generations of innovators.
The use of funds for this round will be to demonstrate the platform across two rounds of test launches. The first launch is expected to occur in Q2 of this year, it will validate the core performance criteria in the space environment. The second test will happen at the end of this year and will validate the production form factor of the satellites. At this point, E-Space will proceed with deploying its first constellation.
The company is in advanced conversations with several major customers and is poised to take satellite mesh networks mainstream. We are excited to share more details as these agreements are finalized over this year.
Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in seed-stage companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation and agriculture.
Sign up here if you are not already subscribed to our blog.