GHGSat Raises $60 Million in New Funding Round

GHGSat high-resolution emission monitoring sensor. Image credit: Spire.

Montreal-based GHGSat just finished another big funding round.

The greenhouse gas emissions intelligence company raised $44 million USD ($60 million Canadian) in a Series C1 funding round. The amount represents both equity and debt. GHGSat has raised more than $126 million USD ($172 million CAD under current exchange rates) since 2011.

Key supporters in this round included Fonds de solidarité, FTQ, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital, Climate Investment, Japan Energy Fund and BMO (the latter provided debt facilities.) BofA Securities acted as sole placement agent on the equity portion.

The company has reported its revenue growing by eightfold since the last time it did funding in 2021, along with a fourfold increase in its commercial satellites. Another key milestone came in artificial intelligence, as the company develops new measurement technologies to detect small amounts of methane with its satellites. (More information on what that means will be made public in a few months or so.) 

“We’re putting a really strong emphasis on our go-to market strategy on virtualization – and accelerating – which means a much larger and better deployed salesforce. It’s all the supporting investments that we need to make in our marketing team to support (that) salesforce,” founder and CEO Stephane Germain said in an interview with SpaceQ.

“The funding (also) provides for accelerating integrated solutions, so really being able to bring our data together with other types of data in order to provide the answers that our customers want. They don’t necessarily need a raw measurement from us. What they really want is insights about their greenhouse gas emissions.”

Funding will also go to more satellite launches. GHGSat plans to launch three new satellites on the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission later this year, and four more satellites are manifested to launch in 2024. A hosted payload on each of these missions will examine carbon dioxide. 

Nine of its satellites are in orbit already, including its first test satellite in 2016 – which remains operational and in excellent health. In fact, the existing satellites are more productive than anticipated, making double the daily emission measurements as planned for, as the company said in a press release.

“As we add more satellites, now we have more capacity to serve our customers. So what I mean by that is we might get asked to monitor a few hundred sites in Texas for one customer. And with only one or two satellites, that would pretty much gobble up all our capacity in that jurisdiction. Now if we have four times the number of satellites, we can effectively get four times the number of customers – because we can take more measurements in in these highly congested regions,” Germain said.

A statement added that the company has mitigated the equivalent of 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, which equates to the emissions of typical driving activities of more than 1.2 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles each year. 

The company anticipates having 150 employees by end of year, roughly 25% to 30% more than its existing base. It’s a large growth plan, but Germain pointed out this is still small-scale against some United States competitors in Earth observation services. Additionally, all hires will be “judicious” to avoid rapid scale-backs in the future if at all possible, he said. Sales, marketing, software development and technical roles are some examples of current needs.

“The main thing we want to emphasize about today’s news is this is all about growth for us,” Germain said. “We’ve had just a spectacular last two years, and the next foreseeable future here – let’s just call it three years – just looks amazing. So this is a great opportunity to accelerate our growth to meet demand.”

About Elizabeth Howell

Is SpaceQ's Associate Editor as well as a business and science reporter, researcher and consultant. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota and is communications Instructor instructor at Algonquin College.

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