Look Up Space, a French SpaceTech startup has received €14 million in funding, making it the second-biggest seed round in European space tech and the largest in France to date. This is a huge development for the European space tech industry.

A total of €7 million in private money and an additional €7 million in government subsidies make up the fundraising round. One of the largest seed rounds in the history of the European space tech industry was recently closed by the British SpaceTech startup Space Forge.

CosmiCapital from Karista, France, and MIG Capital from Germany are leading the €7 million investment round. Geodesic Expansion in France and well-known private investors like Greg Wyler (E-SPACE), Helene Huby (Urania Ventures), and former transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also contributed to the round. On a different front, the €7 million in public support supplied through France 2030 and the French Tech Seed fund demonstrates the French government’s dedication to the Look Up Space project. The strategic significance of Look Up Space for the continuation of space activities and the protection of European sovereignty is highlighted by this public support.

As startups like to Look Up Space continues to push the boundaries of innovation and advance the space industry, this financial milestone demonstrates the growing interest in and investment in space technology initiatives throughout Europe.

By the end of 2024, Look Up Space will be able to create its “SYNAPSE” multi-source data fusion and processing platform and its “SORASYS” space surveillance radar demonstrator thanks to the funding obtained.

Additionally, Look Up Space will hire more than 20 people by September 2023 from prestigious French and European space and digital enterprises, as well as from CNES and the French Ministry of Defense.

“Look Up Space is devoted to environmentally friendly design. According to Michel Friedling, co-founder and CEO of Look Up Space, “We are responding to a strategic issue of European sovereignty, to a growing need among private and public players who have or will have space infrastructures in low-Earth orbit, as well as to the needs of institutional players faced with the emergence of irresponsible behavior and orbital threats. This round of funding will allow us to successfully carry out our rapid development strategy and effectively address the significant difficulties that the public and the space community are currently experiencing.

According to Juan Carlos Dolado, co-founder and CTO of Look Up Space, “the Look Up Space solution will be particularly well suited to future needs through the choice of radar technology, enabling us to detect and track centimeter-sized objects, observe every object with the greatest possible repeatability, generate the most accurate orbital solutions possible, have 100% availability, and have very high responsiveness. The beta version of SYNAPSE, a dual and hybrid digital platform that introduces many innovations to the processing of SSA data for public and private customers, already includes our anti-collision algorithms.

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“SpaceTech startup, Look Up Space has succeeded in bringing together the best skills from the civil and military space worlds: strong, determined leadership and exceptional expertise to meet the exponentially growing demand for space security services,” says Emmanuel Daugeras, Investment Director at Karista. We are thrilled to help them with this important endeavor because it aligns with our investment philosophy and has far-reaching ramifications for a variety of commercial industries.

“Space has become the strategic arena where commercial and sovereign interests collide,” says Dr. Oliver Kahl, Principal at MIG Capital. Strong European actors are essential in space at all levels of demand, especially when it comes to space monitoring and the security of space operations. We’ve been following the SpaceTech market with interest for a while, so we’re thrilled to have discovered with Look Up Space the chance to invest in a world-class team and cutting-edge technology in a promising field.

“The risks of collisions between space debris and satellites are multiplying, and each time these risks represent considerable costs,” said Charles Beigbeder, a founding partner of the Geodesic Expansion fund. Look Up Space will address a clear demand from operators by reducing the risk of loss of space infrastructure by over 90% through the detection and identification of all objects in orbit.

Since many years ago, the number of satellites in orbit has been expanding faster, increasing the chance of collision. Approximately 7,000 active satellites are already in orbit, a significant increase from the 1,800 that were there in 2018, and several tens of thousands are anticipated by 2030 with the deployment of mega-constellations.

Over 34,000 objects larger than 10 cm are known to exist at this time, and more than a third of them are not cataloged. Over the next 25 years, this number is expected to double, according to the ESA. One million fragments bigger than one cm are still undetected, which is another factor.

Active satellites and the long-term viability of in-orbit operations are seriously threatened by the ensuing debris and the attendant risk of collision.

SpaceTech startup, Look Up Space from France was founded in 2022 in response to these dangers and threats by General (2S) Michel Friedling, a former Space Commander, and Juan Carlos Dolado, a former chief of space surveillance at CNES.

Look Up Space is working on a global solution based on a network of radars spread across the globe and an avant-garde platform for the massive fusion and processing of multi-source data to enable permanent, real-time, reliable, and precise surveillance, providing space security data and services for institutional and private, civil and military customers.

Image Credit: Look Up Space


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