Interview with Fabien Jordan, Astrocast
Fabien Jordan, Founder & CEO of Astrocast, tells us more about his company’s mission and ambitions. The expert will participate to this year’s phygital edition of Space Forum and will take the stage on September 15th, at 4pm, with a presentation entitled “Direct-to-satellite IoT - How to get Product/Market Fit”
What’s the mission of Astrocast? Can you tell us more about the history of the company?
At Astrocast, we track assets, monitor the environment and save lives by building and operating the most advanced and sustainable satellite IoT network.
Everything started with Switzerland’s first satellite, SwissCube, a highly successful educational mission initially projected to have a one-year lifespan but that still remains functional in orbit today, an impressive eleven years post-launch. Thanks to their solid experience in space systems engineering and active involvement in the CubeSat community, Astrocast founders rapidly became convinced that nanosatellite constellations would be capable of disrupting specific segments of the satellite industry. Early on, they identified a great opportunity to re-use some of the unique know-how developed for SwissCube. In 2014, they co-founded Astrocast, the first satellite operator of Switzerland. Together with an international team of experts from both the space and telecom industries, they progressively developed a strong business model to provide global, direct-to-satellite Internet-of-Things (IoT) communications. Leveraging the industry-leading performances of their L-band IoT network, they successfully positioned Astrocast as a front-runner.
You recently raised 9M CHF: what are your plans and ambitions to come?
In total we raised about 25M CHF. We recently closed a A round of 9M and then a A1 round of about CHF 5M in March. We are raising progressively according to our needs. We are currently raising a larger round to prepare our initial market entry based on our first 5 commercial satellites that getting ready to be launched with SpaceX. In the meantime, we continue with our very successful precursor mission using the 2 satellites that we launched about 1,5 year ago, involving dozens of customers and partners. We are also getting ready to manufacture of our commercial products (full commercial development kits, chips and modules). We have put in place all the activities required to fully support our customers (market access, customer support, etc.) and this continues to progress nicely. These new funds will also support the manufacturing of our next batches of satellites and the next launches (6 launches booked already). We believe we are in a very good position to take the lead in this market.
How will space technology enhance the development and usage of IoT tools?
Satellite IoT is extending the IoT coverage globally as only 10% of the planet is covered by terrestrial IoT networks. Satellite IoT will be merging and interfacing with a complex and booming IoT ecosystem and different approaches will be successful depending on the verticals.