Allied Minds will collect $65.6m for its 58% stake in data analytics satellite operator HawkEye 360, which it founded on the back of Virginia Tech research.
Commercialisation firm Allied Minds is poised to rake in $65.6m for its majority stake in HawkEye 360, a US-based data gathering satellite operator exploiting Virginia Tech research. The cash consideration is a 5.6x return on Allied Minds’ 58% stake and represents an internal rate of return of 96% for the firm over four years. About half of the sum will be paid to Allied Minds’ shareholders. The buyer was not named in Allied Minds’ statement, but was identified as media firm Advance by a variety of news sites. Established by Allied Minds in 2015, HawkEye 360 is in the process of launching a satellite constellation that will pick up radio frequencies from Earth for analysis on behalf of its clients. The company’s first three satellites entered orbit in 2018 to process a range of RF signals as the basis for new analytics products, targeting use-cases including mapping out RF spectrums and fostering maritime awareness. Allied Minds backed HawkEye 360’s most recent round, a $70m series B in August 2019 that also included aerospace manufacturer Airbus and mapping software developer Esri, in addition to Razor’s Edge Ventures, Shield Capital and undisclosed additional investors. The firm had helped HawkEye close its series A-3 round at $14.9m in September 2018 in a $5.3m extension led by defence systems producer Raytheon that also featured Sumitomo Corporate of Americas – part of diversified conglomerate Sumitomo – as well as Space Angels, Razor’s Edge Ventures and Shield Capital. The latter two investors had joined Allied Minds for the round’s $9.6m first tranche the previous month, investing alongside an unnamed aerospace and defence firm, following a $11m series A in 2016 led by Razor’s Edge and backed by Allied Minds together with an unnamed member of the defence industry. – This article was updated on September 27 to include information about the buyer of HawkEye 360.