In early September Precious Payload participated in Indian Technology Congress 2019. It was held in NIMHANS Convention Centre in Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, the center of the national high-tech industry. The congress focused on human digitalization and future intelligence and with a special theme on “The New Space Horizon: An Emerging Ecosystem for Student Built Satellites”.
Dozens of nanosatellites student teams took part in the event due to the 75 Student Satellites initiative of Indian Technology Congress Association (ITCA). ITCA has initiated an ambitious national student space project in collaboration with Indian and International tech-space organizations. The 75 Student Satellites Mission 2022 is designed to build and launch 75 spacecraft next 3 years to attract future scientists and engineers to the space sector.
Andrey Maksimov, CEO and co-founder of Precious Payload, appeared as a speaker at the event. He was talking about our online mission management service for young space teams. Here’s a video record of Precious Payload’s presentation:
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.
Andrey Maksimov: Today with us is Robert Bedington, CTO and co-founder of SpeQtral, a company based in Singapore, formerly known as S15 Space Systems. We continue our #knowyouroptions conversation with entrepreneurs working on amazing products. And today we’re at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.
SmallSat Conference in Utah is the best space event to align yourself with the industry, present the results for the year, or get new partners. The Precious Payload team shared a booth with our partners from Orbital Transports, met with customers, networked like there’s no tomorrow, and ran a side meeting.
We believe that the side meeting’s format is great for sharing what we’ve achieved during the last year, and gathering feedback and discussing new ideas with our colleagues. But one thing for sure, it was really hard to compete with all the other great side meetings and poster sessions that were happening all at the same time. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve decided to share the video of our side meeting with everyone who could not attend it for whatever reason:
Interview with Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus
At the beginning of the summer, we have had an amazing tour to Momentus facilities, a space tug factory in Silicon Valley. We continue our #knowyouroptions series to feature NewSpace entrepreneurs and inspire more people to join the space race with an interesting conversation with Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus. She has taken us on a tour, has introduced the team, and has given us a big #knowyouroptions interview.
In early June our partners, California-based startup Momentus, invited Precious Payload team to their factory. Momentus is a developing in-space shuttle service, using safe water-plasma propulsion technology, for taking satellites from where the rockets drop them off to a custom orbit. Negar Feher, VP of Product and Business Development of Momentus, has taken us on a tour, has introduced the team, and has given us a big #knowyouroptions interview.
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.
Why so many entrepreneurs are secretly dreaming about starting a business in space and so few are ending up with building a company? Our guess – wrong thinking ruins many of the great ideas: those who never tried to launch anything to space tend to think that industry barriers are still enormous, launch options are limited to direct injections and a few American, Indian and Russian launch vehicles exist. While the reality is blooming with options and opportunities.
This year marks our third SmallSat conference attendance as Precious Payload team. It is one of our favorite space industry get-togethers so we tend to prepare ahead. This week we are sharing a database of participants that we used to plan our meetings in Logan. The full version is available here: https://airtable.com/shrTIiQUTuJOnEHY6