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Montreal’s NorthStar collects 47 million

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In a cautious financial environment, the satellite surveillance services company NorthStar Ciel & Terre has convinced the American private equity fund Cartesian Capital to contribute as lead investor to its latest financing round of 47 million.

The funds will be used to finance its activities, the year in which NorthStar will launch its first three surveillance satellites.

The NorthStar service stands out for its ability to identify objects, even very small ones, floating in the space environment. The services offered by NorthStar enable satellite operators to avoid collisions in space.

“Cartesian recognizes the transformational potential of NorthStar’s next-generation services for the space economy,” said Beth Michelson, partner at Cartesian, in a statement. “NorthStar’s unique approach to comprehensive space surveillance is essential to the preservation of space infrastructure,” adds the one who joins the board of directors of NorthStar along with his colleague Paul Pizzani.

“In a market where it is difficult to raise funds, a New York venture capital firm, which can put its money anywhere, decides to invest in a Canadian company based in Montreal offering a service that will help environmental sustainability in space. I find that very encouraging,” said Stewart Bain, CEO and founder of the lucky woman, on the phone.

  • Stewart Bain, CEO and Founder of NorthStar

    PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

    Stewart Bain, CEO and Founder of NorthStar

  • NorthStar Satellite Rendering

    ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED BY NORTHSTAR CIEL & TERRE

    NorthStar Satellite Rendering

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NorthStar Ciel & Terre counts among its investors Charles Sirois and Rogers. It proposes to deploy a constellation of satellites to manage traffic in space, and to make Montreal “the space control tower”.

Its satellites are being built by Spire Global in Glasgow, Scotland, which will operate them on its behalf (using the “space-as-a-service” model). “We’re paying for the data service,” says Bain. Their launch was entrusted to Virgin Orbit, founded by the famous entrepreneur Richard Branson.

The US government as a client, but not the Canadian state

Among NorthStar’s first confirmed customers is the United States Department of Commerce.

“For the past four years,” Bain says, “we’ve supported the U.S. Department of Commerce every quarter to demonstrate our proficiency in integrating data from multiple sensor sources to create a model of what’s going on. in the space. »

In December 2022, we signed a contract with the Department of Commerce. Since then, it has accelerated the interest of other companies and governments for our services.

Stewart Bain, CEO and Founder of NorthStar

NorthStar, which had expressed in the past the wish to count the Government of Canada among its first customers, has not yet managed to sign a contract.

Including the latest round of financing, the company has raised 120 million since its founding in 2012. In addition to Cartesian and Telesystem Space, its other shareholders include the Luxembourg Future Fund, Investissement Québec, the Government of Luxembourg and the Space Sector Development Fund. of Luxembourg SCSp. This is financed by SES, a major provider of satellite telecommunications services and a potential customer of NorthStar.

Another strategic NorthStar investor, Telespazio, a joint venture partly owned by Thales, is also involved in canvassing potential customers in Europe.

NorthStar currently employs 55 people at its Montreal headquarters and a total of 7 in its offices in the United States and Luxembourg. About 30 people will be added to the workforce in 2023, Mr. Bain said.



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