WASHINGTON – A provider of geospatial imagery and analytics for the intelligence community goes public following an anticipated $ 1.5 billion merger with an investment group, the company announced.
BlackSky Holdings Inc., which regularly provides imagery and analysis to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and other government organizations through its fleet of image satellites, said Feb. 18 it will merge with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp., a specialty acquisition company created to raise money. through an IPO to purchase a private company. BlackSky will use the symbol BKSY on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company has five satellites in commercial operation, but expects to add nine more this year. In addition to producing high-resolution images, the company can provide real-time analytics with its artificial intelligence platform.
“This transaction fully finances our growth plans and accelerates our vision to provide our customers with a & # 39; first-to-know & # 39; advantage. This is a major turning point for our industry as commercial and government users want to access real-time information about the changes that matter most to them, ”said Brian O'Toole, CEO of BlackSky, in a statement.
Since its launch in 2014, BlackSky has secured a number of government contracts.
In 2017, the Air Force Research Laboratory awarded BlackSky $ 16.4 million to develop a cloud-based GEOINT platform for collection and on-demand analysis.
BlackSky was one of three companies – along with Planet and Maxar Technologies – study contracts awarded by the National Reconnaissance Office, the intelligence agency charged with operating the country's spy satellites and securing commercial images. Those study contracts, issued in May 2019, were designed to help NRO determine how it intends to secure commercial GEOINT for the intelligence community. The agency has since stated that no provider can fully meet its needs and intends rely on multiple suppliers
And in November 2020, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced that it is adding data from BlackSky and Planet on its Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery system, a portal that provides unclassified images to the federal government and foreign partners. NGA was also a partner in BlackSky's work with AFRL.
BlackSky is also one of the few companies consistently named by the military during development an ability to aim outside the field of view using LEO image satellitesIn September, the US military tested its ability to use commercial image satellites to successfully target and hit threats during the Project Convergence eventFollowing the demonstration, Willie Nelson, Director of Army Futures Command Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Cross-Functional Team, told C4ISRNET the The military could tap into corporate image opportunities such as BlackSky, Planet Labs, Maxars Worlview and Hawkeye 360.
The company said its "pipeline of opportunities has grown by $ 1.1 billion in the past 12 months" to $ 1.7 billion.
"We are delighted to partner with BlackSky, a pioneer in a large and exciting new market," said Osprey CEO David DiDomenico, a partner with investor JANA Partners. "The new space economy is taking off and we believe BlackSky & # 39; s low-cost imaging and on-demand analytics delivery will revolutionize the way businesses and governments detect and track change."
The transaction, which will close in July, is expected to bring in $ 450 million in net proceeds, BlackSky said. That money will go towards expanding the company's analytics platform and adding more satellites to its constellations.
. (tagsToTranslate) GEOINT