South Australia-based mineral surveying technology firm Fleet Space Technologies says its latest A$50 million (US$33 million) equity funding has pushed its valuation past A$350m (US$230m) and will help it grow its current 30-plus global client base, particularly in North America.
CEO and co-founder Flavia Tata Nardini said the company had achieved A$28m (US$18m) of contracted revenues in the past year on the back of successful commercialisation of its ExoSphere nanosatellite and ground-sensing technologies used in more than 100 mineral exploration surveys for companies such as Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold Corporation, Core Lithium and Gold Fields.
Fleet’s growing satellite constellation and Geode ground tomography sensors were enabling fast, non-invasive 3D subsurface imaging that was accelerating targeting while reducing environmental impact, the company said.
“Each new ExoSphere deployment also generates a wealth of valuable subsurface data, which Fleet interprets using AI and machine learning to produce new analytics products for exploration teams.
“Fleet’s roadmap for these products includes predictive drill targeting models, lithology models, and other multi-physics models, giving exploration teams greater certainty, faster. In parallel, the company is also iterating its Geode ground sensors to make them smaller, lighter, and capable of acquiring multiple data types simultaneously to further enhance the insights ExoSphere can deliver.”
Fleet Space’s oversubscribed Series C fundraising round, led by Australian VC Blackbird Ventures, had more than doubled its valuation since a 2021 Series B raise, Tata Nardini said.
“[The] exceptional growth in revenue, coupled with our robust customer acquisition, has been a driving force behind our successful Series C round,” she said.
“With this capital we aim to map the subsurface of Earth and find the deposits that are needed with a much lower environmental impact.”
North Ridge Partners advised Fleet Space on its latest funding round, which also drew participation by Grok Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Hostplus. New investors included TelstraSuper, which had “further strengthened Fleet’s institutional register”, Bondi Partners and Pavilion Capital.
Blackbird partner Niki Scevak said Fleet Space had made “stunning progress over the past year”, gaining strong traction and sales in the period.
Fleet Space CFO Federico Tata Nardini said the investment climate had become more challenging over the past two years, “so to secure funding on this scale now is a huge achievement for us, and a fantastic vote of confidence from our new and existing investors”.
Flavia Tata Nardini said at the recent Austmine 2023 conference in Adelaide the company’s vision extended “beyond Earth as we aim to leverage these cutting-edge techniques to scan the Moon and Mars, enabling responsible exploration and unlocking extra-terrestrial resources that were once out of reach”.