TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--World View, the stratospheric exploration company, announced today that it has successfully closed a $26.5M Series C round of financing led by Accel. The Series C also included major investment by Canaan and Norwest Venture Partners, both of whom participated in World View’s previous Series B round of financing.
Accel, known for its strong record of early stage investments in companies like Facebook, DJI, Dropbox, Slack, Spotify, and others, has taken the first step into the space sector with this World View investment. Accel’s Sameer Ghandi, who led early investment in Dropbox, DJI, Spotify, and Venmo, will join World View’s board of directors.
“World View has set its sights on creating an entirely new economic sector in the stratosphere,” said Sameer Gandhi, partner at Accel. “World View’s proven technology offers unique and low-cost access to the space environment, and we share World View's belief that innovation in the stratosphere has the potential to unlock many new applications with unprecedented benefit.”
With this funding, World View will accelerate the development and commercialization of its Stratollite vehicle, which offers low-cost, navigable and persistent high-altitude flight over customer specified areas of interest for long duration missions (weeks and months on end).
The Stratollite combines many of the benefits and capabilities of geostationary satellites, Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and high-altitude drones, all at a fraction of the cost. Sustained, controlled flight in the stratosphere has remained technically out of reach until now, with the advent of World View’s proprietary altitude control technology. The continued development of this technology will allow the Stratollite to harness variable stratospheric wind currents to steer the vehicle in any desired direction. When fully commercialized, the Stratollite will serve a wide variety of applications including persistent, 24/7 remote sensing, remote communications, natural disaster support, and improved weather data capture.
“We’re thrilled to partner with such accomplished Silicon Valley venture firms to execute on World View’s bold vision to pioneer a new economy in the Stratosphere,” said Jane Poynter, World View Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “This is the beginning of another great chapter in that pursuit and we’re excited for what the future holds.”
The company has also appointed Tom Ingersoll as new World View Executive Chairman. Mr. Ingersoll brings over 30 years of experience in the space and communications industry to World View. As President and CEO of Skybox Imaging, Mr. Ingersoll was responsible for the deployment and commercialization of the world’s largest commercial imaging constellation, and ultimately oversaw Skybox’s acquisition by Google in 2014. Prior to Skybox, Mr. Ingersoll served as co-founder and CEO of Universal Space Network (USN). He led the growth of USN from an early stage start-up to its current position as the leading supplier of mission critical ground station services to NASA, the Department of Defense, and others in the satellite industry. In his role as World View’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Ingersoll will provide leadership and guidance in overseeing all company operations and report directly to the Board of Directors.
About World View® Enterprises, Inc.
World View’s innovative flight technologies offer a unique perspective of Earth from the edge of space. World View delivers meaningful insights to enterprises, agencies, and individuals via two primary business segments: Stratollite un-crewed flight systems and Voyager human spaceflight systems. Stratollites, in operation today, offer low-cost, long-duration, persistent high-altitude flight for enterprise and government agencies. Using advanced stratospheric balloon technology, Stratollite applications include communications, remote sensing, weather, and research. The Voyager human spaceflight experience will leverage existing Stratollite development and operations experience to one day offer private citizens a comfortable, safe, and perspective-changing voyage to the edge of space via high-altitude balloon. To learn more about World View, visit www.WorldView.space.