OurSky Secures $9.5 Million In Seed Funding To Expand Developer Platform For Space Data


OurSky, a promising startup founded in October 2022, has recently raised $9.5 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures, along with other notable investors including Oceans Ventures, Venrex Investment Management, Marlinspike Partners, and Embedded Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the deployment of scopes and further develop their innovative developer platform.

Key Takeaway

OurSky has secured $9.5 million in seed funding to develop its developer platform and globally distributed telescope network. The company aims to provide developers and businesses with easy access to space observational data and analysis tools, offering a cost-effective alternative to existing solutions. By leveraging existing infrastructures and implementing a strategic growth plan, OurSky aims to become the go-to platform for space data analysis and research.

Transforming Access to Space Observational Data

OurSky aims to revolutionize the accessibility of space observational data through its software platform and global telescope network. The company’s vision can be compared to the likes of AWS or the web3 development platform Alchemy, simplifying the process for developers to access and process space data without the need for their own telescope network.

By providing modern development tools and open APIs, OurSky offers a cost-effective alternative to existing solutions in the industry. This platform can be leveraged by a wide range of companies, including space situational awareness startups and satellite operators.

Founders with Complementary Expertise

OurSky was founded by CEO Dan Roelker and serial technology entrepreneur Alex Hawkinson, who happened to become neighbors during the pandemic. Recognizing the critical need for a developer platform that can access and analyze real-time space object data, the duo embarked on this ambitious venture.

Prior to founding OurSky, Roelker’s extensive software career included founding reverse-engineering hacker groups, holding key positions at SpaceX as the VP of software engineering, and serving as the VP of engineering at NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Building the World’s Largest Telescope Network

One of the significant challenges that OurSky is addressing is the establishment of the world’s largest telescope network. The network consists of scopes that OurSky owns and deploys, scopes sourced from the professional amateur community, and scopes from the wider amateur community.

Currently, OurSky has already deployed 30 scopes in nine locations globally and has onboarded around 35 amateur astronomers onto its network. To incentivize participation, OurSky offers free access to capabilities such as image stacking for astrophotographers, ensuring the amateur community receives valuable benefits from the platform.

Strategic Allocation of Capital for Future Growth

With the recent funding round, OurSky does not plan to invest heavily in purchasing telescopes due to the high maintenance costs associated with them. Instead, the focus will be on utilizing existing infrastructures to create a collective network. This approach allows OurSky to allocate the majority of the funding towards building out their software platform to cater to various sectors, including research, commercial, defense, and consumer applications for space observation.

Currently employing 15 people, OurSky aims to expand its team to 20 over the next six months. This gradual growth aligns with the company’s strategy to carefully allocate capital and adapt to the market’s evolving needs in the coming years.

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