Sydney space startup HEO Robotics, has raised a seed round to launch its HEO Inspect product.
The raise was led by David Harding, founder and CEO of Winton Group. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
Angel investors Tim Parsons, Matt Ryall, Christian Thaler-Wolski and Phil Hayes-St Clair also backed the round, while existing HEO investors such as Solai Valliappan doubled-down on their holdings.
It’s the first major investment for HEO Robotics, which is already profitable. The seed funding will allow the company to scale its services to help monitor an expected 40x increase in satellite numbers over the next decade.
HEO Robotics provides visual inspection services for satellites and space debris for their operators to monitor the condition of their space assets.
The company uses existing Earth observation satellites in orbit, using software to redirect the focus of those cameras to inspect other inspection cameras. The business currently has access to 25 satellites in various orbits for its monitoring.
The seed funding will be used to release HEO Inspect, which is currently live being used by customers in a private beta.
HEO Robotics was co-founded by aerospace and robotics engineers Dr William Crowe and Dr Hiranya Jayakody.
Crowe, who is the spacetech startup’s CEO, said the company believes in space sustainability so is using cameras that are already in space for the task rather than adding to the growing congestion above the Earth.
“In-orbit inspection is an incredibly important part of keeping space sustainable,” he said.
“One of the easiest ways to reduce debris is to monitor existing spacecraft and either troubleshoot known issues or help predict future failures.”
David Harding, a cybersecurity and deep tech investor, has nominated Joshua Kennedy-White join the HEO Robotics board.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to back Founders Will and Hiranya and HEO Robotics, which looks to have considerable potential in the burgeoning commercial space industry,” he said.