Planet Labs Inc., which is a satellite-imaging company, is planning to win more customers, as well as increasing its data offerings and striking more acquisitions. It is supposed to happen early next month after it goes public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.
The company is based in San Francisco and it sells geospatial data and analytics software to businesses and government agencies. Ashley Johnosn, who is a Chief Financial Officer, announced that the company expects approximately $600 million, which is supposed to be used to raise from its public offering for that.
Planet Labs plans to close on the merger with SPAC dMY Technology Group Inc. IV – a company which is based in Las Vegas. After that, its hopes are to debut on the New York Stock Exchange under a new name which might be – Planet Labs Public Benefit Corp., shortly after December 3 shareholder vote in that deal. SPACs are shell companies that issue shares to raise capital to buy a business and bring it public.
The company announced that Planet Labs has raised more than $450 million in venture-capital funding, most recently $168 million in a Series D round in 2018 from Google and venture-capital firms Threshold Ventures and DCVC Management Co. The bigger part of all these funds went toward building out Planet Labs’ fleet of satellites, 450 of which it has launched since its founding in 2010.
By going public via a SPAC, the company will be given better access to capital and allows executives to engage more with investors than in a traditional IPO, particularly through the PIPE-raising process. Ms. Johnson commented:
“Now we’re putting the capital behind scaling our commercial infrastructure,” .
She joined the company last year from robo financial advisory firm Wealthfront Corp., where she was CFO and chief operating officer.
According to Ms. Johnson, soon after it becomes public, it will invest in marketing and expand its software offerings. One of the company’s aims is to strengthen its ability to offer time-stamped data that companies and data analysts can incorporate in their systems for modeling and data mining. Earlier this month, the company agreed to acquire VanderSat B.V., a Haarlem, Netherlands-based earth-data provider, for roughly $28 million.
“That type of analytic capability on top of our data opens up more market opportunities to us and more wallet share with our existing customers.”
Ms. Johnson also said that the company has about 700 customers that are concentrated in industries such as agriculture and mapping.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which is one of the world’s biggest institutional investors, has invested in Planet Labs, partly because the company has collected a wealth of imaging data and generates more revenue than some competitors. This was announced by Caitlin Walsh who is a managing director for the pension fund.