Leanspace has closed an oversubscribed Seed financing round of 6 million euros ($6.4 million) and the funding will be used to scale up the company’s cloud services platform.
The financing round was led by Karista and 42CAP, with complementary, non-dilutive financing from Bpifrance. The new investors join leading space organizations already backing Leanspace, such as Seraphim Space, the International Space University and strategic business angels.
This 6 million euros Seed round brings Leanspace’s total funding to 8.5 million euros since the firm’s inception. Karista is a major European VC firm based in Paris and invested via its new space fund, CosmiCapital, backed by the French Space Agency (CNES). 42CAP is a Munich-based VC firm with expertise in B2B software companies and SaaS platforms. Bpifrance is the French agency for innovation, delivering financial and technical support to high-potential, innovative ventures.
The commercialization of the space industry and the New Space paradigm have made the management of space missions more complex. In addition to the legacy requirements seen for decades — reliability, trust and bespoke developments — space programs today come with new needs such as a drastic increase in agility and reduction of costs.
These new drivers call for new solutions: new software and processes that can truly leverage the cloud and digital engineering technologies. However, space organizations face extreme challenges in adopting these solutions. New entrants need to establish entire software infrastructures from scratch and they oftentimes lack the resources, time and know-how to do so. Established organizations are prisoners of complex legacy systems and the risks of transforming them.
Leanspace was founded to make this transition easier, with the goal of enabling the digital transformation of space organizations.
The platform – the exact term is ‘Platform-as-a-Service’ – offers a collection of space-specific cloud services that can be used via API, directly in the customer’s applications. Customers use Leanspace as an integration platform: they can quickly set up ground segments that scale easily and where data can flow, across systems and teams. They also use it as an innovation platform: they can develop their own systems, with their own methods, to answer their own, specific use case.
Guillaume Tanier, Co-Founder and CEO of Leanspace, said, “I’ve spent the last decade building and selling space software. The truth is: 80% is always the same, but people keep rebuilding their systems from scratch, stitching disparate technologies together and reinventing the wheel. In the NewSpace era, it does not make sense anymore. With my co-founders, we wanted to build this ‘80%’ once and make it available to every space player in an easy to use, transparent model, so that they can quickly build powerful, cloud-native space software. Looking ahead, our ambition is to become the world leader in digital space infrastructures. We want to see hundreds of space missions, diverse in size and use cases, running on cloud-native, collaborative software ecosystems powered by the Leanspace platform. “It’s the only way to get the economies of scale needed to make the new space economy a reality.””
Michaël Thomas, Investment Director, and Yvan-Michel Ehkirch, Managing Partner at Karista, said, “We were won by the team’s unique vision, complementarity and understanding of what it is to build a global venture. With such a mindset next to a solid technology, fleet management can now be disrupted in the whole NewSpace ecosystem and beyond within many industry verticals. Leanspace’s platform is answering one of the biggest challenges of NewSpace today, meaning the capacity to scale up fast ground infrastructures – one of the current market’s bottlenecks – in order to support the huge market growth.”
Julian von Fischer, Partner at 42CAP, said, “We have been analyzing the SpaceTech market for quite a while and finally found what we were looking for in Leanspace: a founding team with deep domain expertise, understanding the problems of the industry and a product which has the potential to redefine how software is used in space in the future. We believe that Leanspace has the capability to accelerate the paradigm shift happening in the market and become a core part of the future software stack of space companies. We are thankful to now be a small part of this journey.”
Incorporated in 2020 in Strasbourg, France, by an international team (the founders are French, Spanish, Canadian, and Indian) the company has grown to 25 employees in 2 years, and already works with a dozen space customers, ranging from satellite operators for earth observation, in-orbit services and IoT, to launcher companies and software integrators.