Satellogic, a vertically integrated geospatial analytics company founded in 2010 and headquartered in Uruguay, announced on 6 July that it will go public through a USD 1.1 billion merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by the financial firm Cantor Fitzgerlad, to raise the funds needed to build 300 satellites by 2025.
The deal is expected to raise around USD 275 million to fund growth. The company has previously raised more than USD 100 million in equity and debt, since its founding in 2010, through existing investors Pitanga and the Inter-American Development Bank.
This latest deal will provide hope for a growing number of SPACs targeting Latin America, according to a Brazilian M&A banker, “Alpha Capital, Valor Latitude, Softbank, DILA Capital and Patria all have SPAC vehicles hunting for Latin American deals. And deals are getting done: the USD 1.1 billion Satellogic deal is huge and Codere merged with a DD3 SPAC last month in a USD 350 million deal. The deals are generally smaller than the US but there is a lot of opportunity.”
“Alpha Capital, Valor Latitude, Softbank, DILA Capital and Patria all have SPAC vehicles hunting for Latin American deals. And deals are getting done.”
M&A banker, Brazil
At present, Satellogic has 17 commercial satellites in orbit and, by going public, it aims to democratise commercial satellite applications within a USD 140 billion total addressable market opportunity. Furthermore, last January Satellogic signed an agreement with SpaceX, the aviation and aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, to become its preferred vendor of constellation satellites.
Argentina has been the leading Latin American state in the space industry and has been developing, manufacturing and operating earth observation and telecommunications satellites for a long time. In particular, over the last two decades it has developed two constellations of Earth observation satellites, called SAOCOM (SAOCOM 1 and SAOCOM 2), the first stage of which has already been put into orbit.
This has all been achieved without a coherent space policy, according to a former official, “Argentina’s space sector has been slowly advancing, unlike other sectors, without any national aerospace development policy. The private sector has delivered most of the progress to date.”
“Argentina’s space sector has been slowly advancing, unlike other sectors, without any national aerospace development policy. The private sector has delivered most of the progress to date.”
Former government official, Argentina
In August 2020, Argentina’s space agency, CONAE, launched its second earth-observation satellite, SAOCOM 1B, to help predict and monitor the mitigation of natural disasters. The first one, SAOCOM 1A, was launched in October 2018. Furthermore, throughout June and July 2021, CONAE is carrying out a series of meetings with international science organisations, academics, private companies and government institutions to design the 2021-2030 National Space Plan for Argentina.