Atlas Space Operations in Traverse City Draws $26M Series B Funding

Atlas Space Operations in Traverse City, a leader in cloud-based space communications solutions, has announced $26 million in Series B Funding led by Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
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Closeup of dish at Very Large Array
Traverse City’s Atlas Space Operations closes $26 million Series B funding. // Stock Photo

Atlas Space Operations in Traverse City, a leader in cloud-based space communications solutions, has announced $26 million in Series B Funding led by Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

The funding round is a part of strategic initiatives for both Mitsui and Atlas within the space economy. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

For Atlas, the investment accelerates its plan for international growth, as well as its Ground Software as a Service business model that allows customers to better communicate with satellites via a global antenna network.

The company’s Freedom software platform helps companies and educators better gather space-based data. Some of the industries served by Atlas include connected devices, mobility, shipping and transportation, wildlife tracking, and climate activities

At Mitsui, its investment in Atlas further demonstrates the corporation’s commitment to its space portfolio.

In 2018, Mitsui acquired a minority stake in BlackSky Global, followed by an acquisition of Spaceflight Inc, a U.S. satellite rideshare service provider, in 2020. The investment in Atlas advances Mitsui’s position in the space industry as one of its new targeted growth areas.

“This investment in Atlas expands our space business as a service provider for satellite operators,” says Kazutomi Shigeeda, general manager of space business department at Mitsui.  “We strongly believe that Atlas Ground Software as a Service can maximize the value of the ground stations and integrate other governmental and commercial ground station networks.

“In the future, we consider that Atlas will be able to integrate satellite data relay networks as part of its own network, and it will lead us to the next generation (of) satellite-ground communication infrastructure business. In order for Atlas to achieve its vision, we will support its growth in collaboration with our space business portfolio and by utilizing Mitsui’s industrial network.”

Mitsui is joined in the funding round by investments from Beringea, a transatlantic venture capital investor in Farmington Hills, as well as investments from foundational investors: Boomerang Catapult, Rise of the Rest, VCapital, Northern Michigan Angels, Harmonix, Wakestream, and Grand Ventures.

“This investment (better) capitalizes Atlas to accelerate growth in key areas of commercial and U.S. government markets for which our services are in high demand,” says Sean McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of Atlas. “With this new partnership, Atlas can expand its team to provide enterprise-level Ground Software as a Service solutions for the DoD Hybrid Space Architecture while increasing our market share in the private sector with our low risk, high-end services.”

To learn more, visit atlasground.com.

Mitsui is a global trading and investment company with a diversified business portfolio that spans approximately 63 countries in Asia, Europe, North, Central, and South America, The Middle East, Africa, and Oceania. Mitsui’s portfolio covers mineral and metal resources, energy, machinery and infrastructure, space, and chemicals.

For more information on Mitsui, visit www.mitsui.com.

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