Russian Space Tech Fund Invests in "Dauria" Satellite Company
The first country to launch a satellite into space, Russia has never lost interest in the final frontier. And now, it's investing in it -- through I2BF Global Ventures.
A self-proclaimed "leading global technology investment firm," privately held hedge fund and venture capital firm I2BF has been making a series of smallish investments in space tech start-ups of late. Last year, the company made its first investment, of undisclosed size, in planned asteroid miner Planetary Resources. Earlier this month, I2BF invested an additional $20 million in start-up micro- and nano-satellite manufacturer Dauria Aerospace. In return, I2BF received what company founder Ilya Golubovich describes as a "significant minority stake" in Dauria.
This second investment proved to be well-timed. Just a few days later -- Tuesday -- Dauria confirmed that it is cooperating with Korean industrial giant Samsung Electronics to send a 22-kilogram "DX-1" satellite into space before the end of this year -- Dauria's first-ever satellite launch.
Described as a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) satellite, DX-1 will be used by Russian marine transportation agencies to track the movement of vessels on water. Dauria's role will be to first build the satellite, then piggyback it aboard a Roskosmos (Russia's version of NASA) Soyuz or Dnepr rocket, and loft it into orbit. Once there, DX-1 will begin generating low- and medium-resolution data that Dauria can repackage and sell to commercial customers who have need for it.
Going forward, says Golubovich, Dauria aims to launch a second small satellite into orbit sometime in the first half of 2014. In cooperation with launch partners, including Roskosmos and -- potentially -- fellow space pioneers SpaceX or Virgin Galactic -- Dauria could grow its business in a market that Golubovich believes could generate "hundreds of millions" of dollars in revenues for the company over time.
The article Russian Space Tech Fund Invests in "Dauria" Satellite Company originally appeared on Fool.com.
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