Precious Payload is now a part of the first batch in the aerospace-themed Gothams Hub71 Accelerator in the UAE. The new program kicked off in the first week of October in Abu Dhabi. Our team was selected to join the cohort of 5 early-stage technology companies.
The unique combination of newly born innovative Abu Dhabi entrepreneurs environment and the opportunity to engage forward-looking companies creating cutting edge technologies seeks to develop Arabic Silicon Valley, a comfortable ecosystem that is to accelerate the economy of the region.
With the support of Precious Payload’s launch booking and space mission management platform, Pixxel, an Indian space startup based in Bengaluru, has signed a launch contract with GK Launch Services, an operator of commercial launches of Soyuz-2 family launch vehicles. Under the agreement, the first tech demo mission of Pixxel to be launched in Q2-Q3 2020 from Baikonur spaceport on GK-operated Soyuz-2 rocket.
Pixxel is building a constellation of earth imaging satellites to provide global coverage every 24 hours. The startup is the only Asian participant in the Techstars Starbust Space Accelerator where it is working with JPL NASA, US Air Force, Lockheed Martin, SAIC and IAI among other space stalwarts.
Awais Ahmed, CEO of Pixxel
‘We have chosen GK Launch Services because it bundles all the services in one package, offering transparent and standard insurance products along with launch services to the customers. Moreover, the company helps to solve less evident but equally important issues that traditionally brokers do, such as separation systems, logistics support, and right up to visa support. At the same time, having trusted our launch management to Precious Payload team, we have opted for focusing on our product and clients.’
Alexander Serkin, CEO of GK Launch Services
‘We are pleased that Pixxel has chosen the most reliable launch vehicle, Soyuz-2*, in the world for injecting their satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit. The smallsat launch market is gaining progress rapidly – new solutions are appearing that help customers find a provider of launch, integration, insurance and other related services. The team of GK Launch Services pays great attention to such solutions. The approach of Precious Payload to space mission management using modern IT-platform software helps customers be more informed about the advantages of cooperation with this or that launch provider. It is a useful tool for quick and better communication with our potential customers and the industry in whole.’
Andrey Maksimov, CEO of Precious Payload
‘We are happy that Pixxel has found GK Launch Services through our online platform. It will be a good test for our new service model for complete space mission management. In the growing small satellite market, launch providers are eager to make a product that provides comprehensive turn-key solutions for smallsat customers. GK Launch Services have developed an innovative online price calculator that meets market demand. The company also solves one of the key issues in the space sector, which is the provision of chain management.’
*The only launcher that delivers cosmonauts and astronauts to the ISS.
LOGAN, UTAH, August 2, 2019, — Precious Payload, now a digital service to manage space missions, announces the pre-seed funding round led by a UAE-based investment firm Forte Mare.
Precious Payload was founded in the USA back in 2017 as a launch booking platform for small satellites. Since then it has connected over 100 space missions to over 25 launch providers through its online service, generating several hundred thousand US dollars of revenue in subscriptions and commissions. This August, the company announces it is changing its business model to deliver complete mission management via an online platform.
«We had an idea of building a digital freight-forwarder since the early days but decided to focus on launch to prove our software-only approach. The current hype cycle of investment in hardware will end soon, and the market will try to leverage technology to create sustainable businesses. Digital service to fast-track a tech demo or get to the revenue is an ideal way to build a space business.» — says Andrey Maksimov, the company’s CEO.
«Imagine a team of experts that runs those RFI/RFPs for you, navigates through various launch scenarios, connects ground stations, deals with all the paperwork and licenses. Now wrap this all into the online service that keeps everyone on the same page and visualizes all the current and next steps to get your business into space. This is what we are building here.» — says Daria Ryzhkova, the company Chief Product Officer.
To showcase the advantages of the new product, Precious Payload features a first client of the new approach. Pixxel, a satellite constellation and the only Asian participant in an inaugural Techstars Starburst accelerator led by US Air Force, has entrusted Precious Payload to manage their first tech demo mission to be launched in Q4 2020. «Working with the team behind Precious Payload is like a breath of fresh air. You are always aware of what is going on, what are the next steps, what are your options. It enables us to liberate more time and resources to talk to our customers and build our product.» — says Awais Ahmed, the CEO of Pixxel.
Precious Payload delivers the service through the range of industry partners, including Momentus Space, GK Launch Services, Orbital Transports, and others to be announced soon. The company hosts a side meeting on Wednesday, Aug 6, to present the roadmap of the product.
«The team behind Precious Payload has a great track record of building successful cross-border online businesses in regulated industries. We think software companies in Smallsat sector have a unique opportunity to deliver the service globally while keeping overheads low and outpacing the traditional hardware approach.» — says Mike Afonskiy, an asset manager of Forte Mare fund.
Forte Mare is a private investment vehicle, based in the United Arab Emirates and deploying capital into both private equity and public markets. The fund leads the investment round of undisclosed amount into Precious Payload, which has also been supported by the number of international angel investors.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are the names that come to mind when words like ‘business’ and ‘space’ appear in the same sentence. Indeed, true space enthusiasts, and billionaires to that matter, have put their fortunes on the line to pursue their space dreams. Before them, only governments and established corporations could associate themselves with space industry.
What about now? Are hundreds of millions still required to cross the high entry barrier? Do you still need your government to support you in building a satellite? Is it still as hard as rocket science is?
We have created a short survey that will allow us to validate the ideas we have for the next Precious Payload features. We invite everyone who has experience of launching their payload to space or is planning to do it in the next three years to participate and share their experience. The questions are designed for satellite operators (commercial, governmental, university-based), manufacturers, launch aggregators, and launch service providers. The questionnaire will be available for the next two weeks.