Skynopy raises $3.1M to bring connectivity to LEO satellites

Skynopy, a Paris-based space startup specialised in satellite connectivity, announces a fundraising of $3.1M closed in only three weeks, just months after its creation.

This funding round was supported by a pool of investors, including the pan-European fund Heartcore Capital, Kima Ventures, Better Angle, and BPI France, alongside well-known entrepreneurs like Thibaud Elziere (e-founders, Hexa) and Yohann Leroy (CEO of Maia Space). This initial funding will enable Skynopy to develop its turnkey connectivity service for LEO satellite operators, addressing the growing needs of the rapidly expanding space industry.

Imagine, when sending a video with your phone, having to locate the nearest antenna, orient your smartphone towards the antenna, define and adjust the radio settings, including modulations and protocols, and then being charged per minute of antenna use for this service. This is the technical and commercial complexity that all satellite operators currently face when downloading a picture or video taken by a satellite. Skynopy aims to solve this complexity.

Founded in October 2023 by Pierre Bertrand and Antonin Hirsch, former directors of Loft Orbital, Skynopy has an ambition: to bring the simplicity of mobile phone connectivity to low-orbit satellites and constellation sector, thanks to a unique business model and key interface technologies.  

Skynopy offers a seamless, simplified and worldwide service for satellite operators to connect their satellites (send commands and receive data) using its hybrid network of ground antennas.  This ‘as-a-service’ approach allows operators to focus on their missions without worrying about the technical details of connectivity or the costly internal infrastructure of ground antennas, providing smooth communication with their satellites, similar to a mobile phone experience. Skynopy is developing universal connectors capable of interfacing with existing ground station networks allowing Skynopy to scale much faster than a more traditional approach. This strategy allows Skynopy to offer high-bandwidth connectivity while limiting its CAPEX needs, thus positioning itself as the Airbnb of ground antennas.  

By managing the entire value chain of satellite mission connectivity, Skynopy aims to become a leader in the rapidly expanding ground segment market. This unique positioning has already enabled Skynopy to sign and deliver several contracts with key players in the French space ecosystem, including HEMERIA and CNES, just six months after its incorporation.  

The funds raised will enable Skynopy to accelerate the commercial deployment of its ‘as-a-service’ ground station offering. The startup has already signed industrial partnerships to integrate initial ground station networks and implement its vision of turnkey connectivity. Finally, this funding will allow Skynopy to structure its teams through new recruitment.

Pierre Bertrand, CEO of Skynopy, commented: “The ground segment, and specifically ground stations, is the third pillar of any space infrastructure, alongside the launch vehicle and the satellites. Today, industrial players and public policies have tended to underestimate this essential pillar, which is crucial for data creation and retrieval, representing up to 20% of a mission’s cost. Skynopy aims to solve this deadlock and offer a true innovation in the business model. In this context, this funding round marks a major milestone for Skynopy and the development of the first seamless satellite connectivity service, meeting the growing needs of the space industry.”

Yohan Pereira, Representative of Heartcore Capital: "Skynopy offers an innovative solution to a major challenge in the space industry. Pierre and Antonin's profound market knowledge, coupled with their ambitious international vision – made obvious through their significant contributions to Loft's success in Europe – strengthens our belief in their ability to revolutionise the satellite connectivity sector. We are fully convinced of their transformative potential and are thrilled to be part of the Skynopy journey."

Lionel Suchet, Director of Innovation, Applications, and Science at CNES: "Skynopy's ground station service addresses a well-identified commercial need within the satellite ecosystem, thus filling a commercial and industrial gap. Such a player, with sufficient commercial traction, can leverage major advantages, whether geographical, industrial, or institutional."