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Focus: Cognitive Space
Momentum in AI for Satellite Operations


Cognitive Space wraps up 2021 with several victories — a significant capital investment round, new and expanded government contracts, the rollout of the firm’s commercial product line, solid year-over-year revenue growth plus an expanding team of Space and Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts.


The company announced the highlights of a highly successful 2021 in its mission to dramatically improve the way the Earth is monitored for economic, environmental, and national security understanding. The company helps organizations fly their satellites with new tools for New Space — providing satellite operators and space infrastructure companies with sophisticated SaaS services for optimizing revenue and performance yield, forecasting future capacity, and orchestrating collection management as satellite constellations grow and scale. 

“The New Space economy is attracting massive investment and is growing exponentially. Space will be filled with thousands of new commercial satellites,” said Scott Herman, CEO of Cognitive Space. “But building out the required ground architecture is a major hurdle for New Space companies and usually represents a significant monetary investment, a multi-year time commitment, and major execution risk as they build their business. Cognitive Space provides a blueprint and an operational capability that derisks and accelerates their buildout schedule, controls costs, and then optimizes their ongoing operations to power their business vision.” 

Cognitive Space Highlights 

$5.5M in investment capital raised
Cognitive Space started the year with a $1.5 million “pre-seed” raise, followed in November with the closing of a $4 million Series Seed led by Grit Ventures of Menlo Park. 

Additional investors included Argon Ventures, Techstars, UltraTech Capital Partners, Cultivation Capital, Glasswing Ventures, Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital, SpaceFund, and Deep Ventures. Outside counsel for the transaction were Covington and Burling LLP. 

As a result of this 2021 fundraising effort, Cognitive Space enters 2022 with $5.5 million in funds that are ready to apply toward commercial product development and company growth. 

“Billions of investment dollars are flowing into the New Space economy. There is an unmet imperative for cost-effective, scalable, and business-savvy constellation operations,” said Jennifer Gill Roberts, Managing Partner at Grit Ventures. “We believe Cognitive Space’s AI-driven approach to maximizing constellation revenue and performance yield gives their customers a significant competitive advantage in this emerging market for Space-based services.” 

New and expanded U.S. Government contracts
Cognitive Space continued its work with several U.S. Government agencies, including the U.S. Space Force (USSF), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), and other members of the national security community. 

In these engagements Cognitive Space focused on concept development and rapid prototyping for topics such as orchestrated collection management, hybrid space architecture, and global monitoring. Of particular note, Cognitive Space was selected as a winner of the Space Force Pitch Day competition, resulting in a $1.7 million contract for exploring new approaches to satellite operations using Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Cognitive Space also supported several U.S. Government (USG) exercises, including RIMPAC, Northern Edge and Joint Warrior. 

The company orchestrated collection opportunities across multiple commercial and government suppliers of satellite remote sensing. Cognitive Space provided the USG with insight into the emerging wave of commercial, remote sensing capabilities, helping them to understand the impact of these capabilities on future operations, tradecraft, tools, and procurement methods. 

Commercial sales traction
During the summer of 2021, Cognitive Space introduced its SaaS-based platform for autonomous and dynamic satellite operations to a growing set of commercial satellite operators and space infrastructure companies. The platform revolutionizes satellite operations with the power of AI for mission management, collections planning, and communications link coordination. The suite is available in versions tailored for startups, growth as well as enterprise-class customers in the New Space domain. 

Strong revenue growth
Cognitive Space continues to dramatically increase year-over-year revenues with new contracts, solid bookings and a dense opportunity pipeline going into 2022. 

Accelerator wins
Cognitive Space was competitively selected for several startup accelerators, including the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Seraphim Space Accelerator and the NGA Startup Accelerator. As one of 10 companies selected by AWS from a field of approximately 200 startups, Cognitive Space received $100,000 in cloud infrastructure credits, AWS Cloud training and support, mentorship, and additional business development resources that included opportunities to speak with spacesavvy venture investors. 

With the NGA Accelerator, Cognitive Space has been working with government analysts on a pilot project exploring the role of future commercial satellite capabilities for facility monitoring and pattern-of-life analytics in real-world scenarios. 

Building AI-driven Satellite Operations
Cognitive Space continues to recruit aggressively for an expanding team of AI/ML scientists and mathematicians, satellite and aerospace engineers, full-stack and frontend/backend developers, system architects, and Cloud DevOps engineers. In 2021, the company also made strategic additions to the executive team by recruiting senior industry veterans Scott Herman (as CEO) and Hanna Steplewska (as Vice President, Business Development & Operations). Scott and Hanna bring deep experience in Space Operations, Satellite Remote Sensing, Geospatial Analytics, and National Security and a comprehensive understanding of the New Space ecosystem.