4 mins read 09 Feb 2022

Fleet Space establishes first international HQ in Texas

Fleet Space Technologies has begun its global expansion, setting up its first international HQ in Houston, Texas.

A Fleet Space nanosatellite. Credit: Fleet Space.

Earlier this month, Fleet Space announced that it had launched its first phase of global expansion plans, setting up its first international headquarters in the Texan capital of Houston.

This is a strategic move for Fleet, as it will provide unprecedented market access to a variety of regions outside Australia, including California and the East Coast, as well as Canada and South America, a leader in natural resource production. The choice of Houston as the location for the HQ places Fleet in close proximity to some of the largest resource companies in the US.  

Fleet offers valuable solutions to the USA

The company has been offering real-world solutions to large industrial sectors locally since its inception in 2016. For example, Fleet’s Centauri 3 nanosatellite uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor the South Eastern Australia (SEA) Gas Pipeline System which runs from Adelaide to Port Campbell in Victoria. Furthermore, the company is collaborating with OZ Minerals to help detect valuable ores of uranium and iron using small, lightweight heat sensors.  

While such solutions are of great benefit to Australia’s most important and profitable sectors, they are not limited to our home soil. Fleet has already proven its ability to protect sovereign assets for its international partners.

The company’s existing low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation can assist with monitoring critical remote assets in oil fields in the US. The nanosatellites in the constellation connect to small high-definition cameras placed near the pipelines, which use artificial intelligence (AI) to distinguish unknown vehicles from sanctioned vehicles in the area. Fleet’s constellation can also monitor naval fleets and merchant assets.

Fleet Space already has heritage in providing solutions, such as monitoring of large oil pipelines. Credit: Unsplash.

Fleet is already working alongside US space industry regulators. The company’s own smart edge device, the Portal, has completed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification for use in the US. The Portal is so named because it can be placed in a given location to provide connectivity to hundreds of IoT sensors within a 15km range. The device will become useful in reducing costs and risks associated with sending a human to a remote site, thereby maximising safety and returns on investment.

Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO and Co-Founder of Fleet Space Technologies, affirms that “The technology we have developed has the potential to provide worldwide connectivity to multiple industries. This is reflected in our global ambition and commitment to the United States as the first phase of our international expansion.”

Global Investors for a Growing Company

Fleet recently announced its new Alpha constellation, more powerful and economical than its previous satellites. Credit: Fleet Space.

The Adelaide-based company’s achievements over the last few years have been made possible with its significant investor base. The new HQ has been established with the help of Fleet’s latest Series B funding round, which raised $26.4m in November 2021. Series B funding is the term given to a stage of funding that a business can seek from investors once they have passed the initial startup stage, which Fleet has demonstrably done.   

What’s more is that many of Fleet’s major investors are based in the US, meaning that Fleet is sure to give back to, and form stronger ties with, the US technology, space and defence sectors. These investors include InQtel, which invests in ‘cutting-edge technologies to enhance the national security of the United States’; Alumni Ventures, which aims to ‘create difference-making ventures’, and Momenta Ventures, which claims to be ‘the leading venture capital & value creation firm for Digital Industry’.

An ambitious growth plan

The establishment of a headquarters in the US is just the first phase of Fleet’s ambitious global expansion plan. In December, the company announced its new Alpha constellation, which uses the latest 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques to quickly deploy lighter, more powerful and more economical constellations of small satellites. 

Eventually, Fleet hopes to be part of a satellite constellation numbering in the hundreds. According to Flavia, Fleet Space is “already seeing significant demand for our cutting-edge solutions across the Americas and this move represents an affirmation of our belief in the rapid growth of the largest space technology market in the world.”