Australian space start-up Fleet is expanding its operations to Europe by establishing an office in RoboValley. The move comes as Fleet readies to launch the first of its 100 strong nanosatellite constellation in early 2018. Fleet is building a network of tiny nanosatellites to deliver a global backhaul service for the Internet of Things.
In addition to giving the business a greater global stronghold, a European presence will enable Fleet to be closer to its European customers and several influential space institutions; such as the Netherlands Space Office, RoboValley, InnovationQuarter, and the European Space Agency.
Fleet’s CEO and co-founder Flavia Tata Nardini describes the opening of the new office as an ‘important next step’. “While headquartered in Australia, Fleet is a truly global organisation, and we feel that for our business to have the greatest impact, an office in Delft, in addition to Adelaide and Los Angeles, is required. This move will ensure our technology and team can touch all corners of the globe.”
Once launched, the shoebox-sized satellites will enable businesses and communities from across the globe to increase efficiencies and use of data, opening the door to a new industrial revolution. Unlike most other current satellite systems, Fleet is focused on connecting devices, not people and telecommunications.
During the opening event this Monday, Fleet was officially welcomed as a RoboValley citizen by Anouschka Versleijen and alderman of Delft municipality Ferrie Förster. The nanosatellite network Fleet is building can play a significant role in the communication between robotics systems, Versleijen says.
Fleet’s European headquarters will be led by experienced space business developer and technical start-up specialist, Berry Sanders. “Fleet is one of the most exciting, fast paced, and big thinking space start-ups to launch in the last few years”, he says. “They’re capitalising on a new era in space technology — one that will fuel the world’s biggest economic drivers tomorrow.”
Discussing why Delft was selected as the home of Fleet’s European operations, Tata Nardini said, “Delft has a rich history of aerospace engineering and entrepreneurship, with Delft University of Technology and RoboValley pushing innovative space projects forward. We want to be a part of this forward-thinking community and are looking to getting involved in the incredible work being done there.”
Fleet was founded in Adelaide, Australia in 2015 and was initially backed by matched seed funding from the South Australian Government.
Click on the video below to listen to an interview with Berry Sanders (in Dutch, from 00:13:40 onwards):