Sponsored by SPX CommTech (TCI & ECS)
01 Sep 23. Greensea Systems, Inc. Transforms into Greensea IQ: A Unified Vision for Ocean Robotics. Restructuring brings together Greensea Systems, Inc., Bayonet Ocean Vehicles, Inc. and Armach Robotics, Inc., under the new Greensea IQ banner.
Richmond, Vermont, 1st September 2023 – Ocean robotics pioneer Greensea Systems Inc., is delighted to announce its transformation into Greensea IQ, marking a strategic move that unites its former subsidiaries; Bayonet Ocean Vehicles and Armach Robotics, into a new business entity. This restructuring reinforces Greensea IQ as a leading force in the use of uncrewed and autonomous systems to better help improve human-kind’s interactions with, and understanding of, our oceans.
Greensea IQ CEO, Ben Kinnaman, articulated the driving force behind this transformation, stating, “The three arms of Greensea IQ collectively embody the overarching idea of maximising the capabilities of ocean robotics. This empowers us to explore deeper into the world’s oceans, enhancing both persistence and reach, all while ensuring efficiency, safety, and productivity.” This shared ethos forms the cornerstone of Greensea IQ’s new identity, and serves as the guiding principle that binds its components together in a collaborative pursuit of oceanic advancement.
Greensea IQ’s innovative technologies are poised to revolutionize maritime industries globally. EverClean, for instance, offers autonomous hull cleaning services that enhance ship performance, fuel efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. With a successful commercialization phase, EverClean has proven the economic viability of its technology, and plans are in place to scale the service to a multitude of ship types in the coming years.
Additionally, Greensea IQ’s advancements in the defense and environmental spheres are gaining traction. The EOD Workspace software platform offers autonomous capabilities for mine detection and classification, reducing the risk to personnel in hazardous environments. Furthermore, the company’s robotics technologies are finding applications in offshore renewables, performing surveys for pre-construction work and beach landings, where traditional solutions struggle.
The restructure also prepares the company to strategically expand its operations to better serve clients across the globe with likely expansion into Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia, allowing the provision of closer service depots for robot deployments, and more effective customer support.
This reorganisation not only underscores Greensea IQ’s commitment to innovation but also highlights its ambition to better align business growth with environmental sustainability.
OPENSEA, Greensea IQ’s hardware-agnostic open framework for the development and deployment of cutting-edge robotics technologies, can be considered the common thread that ties together all of the company’s activities. It encompasses essential interfaces and utilities vital to the robotics and unmanned systems community that Greensea IQ has worked deeply within.
The OPENSEA library’s scope is comprehensive. Evolving from this library, the OPENSEA application suite consists of a multitude of distributed independent applications. These applications synergistically function as fundamental building blocks, seamlessly interacting within the OPENSEA network. Their collective capabilities form a scalable, adaptable, and modular system.
Greensea IQ’s former strategic investments in established subsea hardware technology providers culminated in the launch of Armach Robotics in 2021, and Bayonet Ocean Vehicles in 2022.
Armach Robotics pioneered EverClean, a proactive and autonomous in-water robotic cleaning solution providing always clean hulls for shipowners. Now operating under Greensea IQ the ‘Robot as a Service’ product, EverClean ensures the ship is always operating at peak performance by maintaining an always clean hull. Ben Kinnaman equates the EverClean approach to cleaning our teeth: “We don’t wait until we have dental problems before we start daily cleaning. The small platform EverClean robots allow an approach of regular preventative hull cleaning”. Thanks to OPENSEA, the EverClean robot has many tools at its disposal to plot the most efficient route thus avoiding over working and preserving coatings, plus after each cleaning operation, an accurate georeferenced hull condition survey is provided.
The Bayonet series of Autonomous Underwater Ground Vehicles, or AUGVs, also leverage the power of OPENSEA to navigate, identify objects, and process data most efficiently, and add another unique platform to Greensea IQ’s range of products going forward. The Bayonet AUGVs are engineered to excel in the surf zone. They offer the flexibility to incorporate diverse environmental, oceanographic, hydrographic, benthic, and industry-specific sensors. This adaptability caters to a myriad of commercial and military applications in the surf zone and beyond.
To introduce this transformative shift to the public, Greensea IQ will unveil its new identity and showcase the combined capabilities at the upcoming Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) show in London, UK. The event, scheduled from 12-15 September will serve as a platform to highlight Greensea IQ’s vision and the groundbreaking products it offers.
31 Aug 23. Anduril ‘going after everything’ with new rocket motor business, Palmer Luckey says.
“The only way that we’re going to get to the scale of a prime that can change the way a lot of things are done is to work across the same domains that a prime has to do,” Palmer Luckey told Breaking Defense. “You have to fight and win across multiple areas.”
In June, defense firm Anduril announced its purchase of small solid rocket motor firm Adranos. It was a move that seemed out of character for Anduril, which has based its product lines around artificial intelligence and automation — the kind of high technology that the decidedly low-tech solid rocket motor doesn’t need.
But in a recent interview with Breaking Defense, Anduril founder Palmer Luckey said the purchase is only the first step for the firm’s rocket and missile ambitions — a big bet for the relatively small company that more efficient tech can take on the industry behemoths, as Anduril works towards the goal of becoming a prime defense contractor.
“We’re going after everything that’s on the [Defense Department’s] list. All the way from Javelin-class all the way up to intermediate range missiles,” Luckey said, adding that the company believes enough in the potential market that it had been considering the acquisition for “at least two years.”
While acknowledging solid rocket motors are lower tech than what the company usually is involved in — “they’re candles, you light them on fire and they go” — Luckey argued that Anduril can bring its software and automation background into the manufacturing process.
On the software side, “there actually is a lot of things that you can do to make motor manufacturing more robust: increase automated quality control, increase automated manufacturing, reduce the man power that’s involved in making these things,” he said. “When it comes to large scale batching, quality controlling, extruding, cutting packaging, scanning and x-raying of these fuel grains, there’s a lot of room to automate.”
Improving the automation at the quality control level, he argued, means that the manpower-intensive process of making sure a solid rocket motor is safe from an inadvertent explosion should go down significantly. That then allows for larger batches to be produced at once, which is where the manufacturing background of a number of Anduril employees could come into play.
“I don’t even think you need to be a rocket motor engineer to do a lot of this, you just need to have people who are used to making things at a scale of, let’s say, ms of Oculus Rifts a year,” he said, referencing the virtual reality headset created by his first company. “And then you’d have to say, ‘How do I bring that same approach here where I need to be making ms of something, and it’s a pretty advanced thing to make, but I need to make ms of it for as little money as possible?’”
The company is investing in new facilities that should allow them to scale from the “hundreds” per year Adranos was producing to “thousands” per year, according to a company spokesperson. (Anduril declined to provide a dollar figure on what the internal investments would be.)
Notably, Luckey revealed that Anduril “looked at whether it made sense to try and buy” Aerojet Rocketdyne before the latter was absorbed by L3Harris. “The thought crossed our mind as we watched all of these antitrust concerns play out with the larger primes,” he said, referencing the long-running questions about whether the federal government would ok the sale of Aerojet to L3.
Asked whether having the two largest rocket motor suppliers part of bigger companies — Aerojet now as part of L3 and Orbital ATK now part of Northrop Grumman — means being a new entrant in this space will be challenge, Luckey expressed confidence.
“Even the companies that own these providers, they have not like fully vertically integrated, they’re still buying things from other providers,” he said. And, he emphasized, Anduril’s manufacturing plans, combined with a metallized alloy Adranos developed which claims a 40 percent range increase, means the business case should sort itself out.
Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, estimates the overall military solid rocket motors market is around $1.5 bn annually. Whether there is enough demand for three major suppliers isn’t clear; A 2017 Government Accountability Office report found that there was not enough demand from the Pentagon for more than two suppliers of solid rocket motors “economically viable,” although that was before demand for munitions spiked as a result of the Ukraine war.
“It’s cheaper. It has better quality control through our automated manufacturing, and your performance is going to go up,” Luckey said of his pitch for Anduril’s new offering. And in terms of getting decision makers, both in industry and the Pentagon, to buy in, “You could fit every guy who makes these types of decisions in my office. So, we just have to convince them. And I think if we actually put our own money into doing it, they will be very convinced.”
Anduril’s Corporate Strategy
The addition of a solid rocket motor arm is part of Luckey’s long-term plan to turn Anduril into an overall defense prime. To reach that status, he said, requires being a regular competitor across market sectors.
“The only way that we’re going to get to the scale of a prime that can change the way a lot of things are done is to work across the same domains that a prime has to do,” he said. “You have to fight and win across multiple areas.”
That includes plans for land, air, sea, underwater and space systems, with Luckey expressing confidence that there would be some announcements about land capabilities in the near future. (He also expressed frustration with the fact he is regularly unable to hype up some of their projects due to the government telling the company not to advertise capabilities. “I wish that we could talk about them, if only for recruiting purposes,” he said. “It’s driving me crazy.”)
On space, the company has largely focused on software so far, but Luckey said the goal is to get into physical systems eventually. “We have not done anything really serious on the space hardware side. I would like to, there are things we can do that I’m very excited about. But it’s just that we haven’t found the obvious wins.”
However, Luckey ruled out a major play into the cyber realm, saying “there’s just so many competent companies that it doesn’t make sense for Anduril to play in cyberspace … we get a lot of people who would like us to be doing stuff there. There’s just so many good competent companies, I don’t want to be spending my investor money trying to kill other companies who are doing a great job, even if I think we could do well.”
Asked whether the company is growing too quickly in too many ways, Luckey said that is an understandable concern but noted that as it is expanding, the firm is bringing in new talent with experience in these areas. Moving into space systems wouldn’t result in existing Anduril engineers taking on space, for instance, but rather the company going out and recruiting heavily from existing companies to poach that knowledge and experience.
And ultimately, he said, company leadership is focused on the core strategy of not chasing things that have no market.
“Anduril is only going to work on things that we think we can do well, that other companies are doing poorly, that the Pentagon cares about, and Congress is willing to fund — because of the Pentagon doesn’t care about it, it’s not a priority, we shouldn’t be working on it,” he said. “If Congress isn’t willing to fund it, there’s not going to be any way to actually get it done and scaled and solved, so it’s not something I can afford to work on.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense.com)
31 Aug 23. Saab buys British artificial intelligence specialist BlueBear.
Saab has boosted its footprint in the artificial intelligence sector with the acquisition of British specialists BlueBear Systems.
The British company is a leading provider of AI-enabled autonomous swarm systems and command-and-control systems.
No financial details of the acquisition have been released.
BlueBear had a turnover of £8m, or $10m, last year and employs 65 people at a site near Bedford in southern England.
Micael Johansson, president and CEO of Saab, said the acquisition is another step towards ensuring the company sustains its competitive position in key international markets.
“BlueBear, as world-leading provider of AI-enabled autonomous swarm systems for complex defense and security applications, is a good fit with our approach of leveraging emerging technologies in the fields of autonomous systems and AI,” Johansson said in a statement announcing the takeover.
As part of Saab’s AI effort, BlueBear will become a center for rapid concept development, providing expertise and scaling-up innovation, according to the Saab statement.
Typical of BlueBear’s work in the fast-moving AI sector is a July 11 announcement that the company, along with SeeByte, a software developer for naval drones, had secured a British Ministry of Defence contract to investigate and build a safe architecture for mixed multi-domain swarms of robotic autonomous systems.
Saab already has some experience with AI-related technology through its 9LV naval combat management system, especially in its Swedish and Australian business units supporting local navies deploying that system on their ships, said Dean Rosenfield, Saab UK group managing director. “This is an important technology area for Saab and we will continue to expand our reach internationally in that regard but also work with others in AI, as partnerships are very much how Saab works.”
The BlueBear acquisition comes as Saab continues a period of organic and non-organic expansion, bringing the company’s U.K. personnel footprint from a bit over 100 in 2022 to 400 now, Rosenfield added.
Saab occupies rank 33 in this year’s Defense News Top 100 tabulation of the world’s biggest defense companies, posting defense-sector revenue of $3.7bn in 2022. (Source: Defense News)
31 Aug 23. Amazon shareholder sues board, Bezos over Blue Origin launch contracts. An Amazon (AMZN.O) shareholder has filed a lawsuit against founder Jeff Bezos and the Amazon board alleging directors failed to fully vet a decision to award launch contracts for the company’s Project Kuiper satellite project to Blue Origin, Bezos’s space company.
The lawsuit filed by Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund earlier this week claims that the Amazon board awarded contracts worth bns of dollars to Blue Origin and did not consider rival Elon Musk-owned SpaceX as an alternative launch provider despite its track record.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper is a planned network of over 3,000 satellites designed to beam broadband internet to remote regions. That makes it a rival to Musk’s Starlink.
Asked about the lawsuit, an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to Reuters: “The claims in this lawsuit are completely without merit, and we look forward to showing that through the legal process.”
Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, a multi-employer fund, said in its filing that the launch contracts were the second-largest capital expenditure in Amazon’s history at the time. Amazon’s largest acquisition is its $13.7bn deal to buy Whole Foods in 2017.
Amazon has already paid about $1.7bn to the three launch providers in the project, including $585m to Blue Origin directly, the lawsuit states, adding that the company has not yet launched a prototype of its Kuiper satellite into orbit.
Project Kuiper will begin mass-producing the satellites later this year and beta testing with commercial customers in 2024, Amazon said earlier this year. The 2024 deployment target would keep Amazon on track to fulfill a regulatory mandate by the FCC to launch half its entire Kuiper network of 3,236 satellites by 2026. The pension fund seeks unspecified damages and legal fees, according to a lawsuit filed on August 28 in the Delaware Court of Chancery. (Source: Reuters)
31 Aug 23. IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Falkonry, Inc. a California-based Industrial AI software company that provides automated, high-speed data analysis to the manufacturing and defence industries. The AI-based, self-learning solution continuously monitors large volumes of data for assets, machines, systems, and industrial processes to discover and analyse unusual behaviour and causes of failures.
Over the past two decades, the growing scale of assets, machines, and fleets has generated unprecedented amounts of data, making real-time operational monitoring highly complex and hindering immediate operational enhancements, such as maintenance and process adjustments. By leveraging Falkonry’s automated and self-learning AI, organisations can democratise intelligence, enabling operational users to take timely actions to prevent asset downtimes, quality issues, and emission violations and automate process and workflow improvements.
The addition of Falkonry’s self-learning anomaly detection solution to IFS’s existing enterprise simulation and AI based scheduling and optimisation capabilities further evidences the company’s strategy to use AI pervasively to provide end-to-end intelligent insights in EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) across ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MES (Manufacturing Execution System), PSO (Planning, Scheduling, Optimisation), FSM (Field Service Management) and ESM (Enterprise Service Management) technology to increase people and asset productivity.
Headquartered in California, USA, and regional presence in Mumbai, India, Falkonry was founded in 2012 by CEO Nikunj Mehta. The company has customers across North America, South America, and Europe, including the US Navy and Air Force, Ternium, North American Stainless, Harbour Energy, and SSAB, demonstrating its focus on industries in industrial manufacturing and Defence agencies.
IFS CEO, Darren Roos, commented: “Falkonry is unique in the market because its technology is agnostic and also it does not require data scientists. These are great differentiators for Falkonry that means the solution is both scalable and low-cost to implement – two fundamental attributes that very much align to our own values.” Roos added: “Falkonry’s technology can be applied in all industries, and whilst the team has some hugely impressive references in IFS’s focus markets on asset performance management, manufacturing execution systems, servitisation, and configurable workflows, we see a really broad addressable market to capitalise on.”
Nikunj Mehta, CEO of Falkonry, commented: “The convergence of artificial intelligence and industrial processes has become increasingly crucial for organisations seeking to enhance productivity through data”. He added: “We are thrilled to join forces with IFS and looking forward to combining our unique strengths to provide a truly compelling value proposition to our existing customers as well as IFS’s customers.” He concluded: “Becoming part of IFS will enable us to further innovate and extend the value we create for our customers.”
“Today’s enterprise is continuously collecting asset performance data, making it a challenge across a multitude of industries from manufacturing to service to put it in the right context and take action in real-time. Organisations using artificial intelligence and machine learning models with their data for self-learning asset performance anomaly detection will generate critical insights faster, boosting productivity and business performance,” said Brian O’Rourke, IDC Research Manager, EAM and Smart Facilities.’
This acquisition follows soon after IFS’s acquisition of Poka, a provider of connected worker technology that empowers factory and field operatives to work smarter, safer and drive productivity. The combination of Falkonry and Poka with IFS Cloud makes IFS the most compelling vendor for organisations wanting to establish the most progressive and effective Smart Factories of the future. IFS expects the acquisition of Falkonry to complete in Q4 2023.
30 Aug 23. SatSure raises $15m in Series A round led by Baring Private Equity Partners, India and Promus Ventures. SatSure, a global leader in satellite Earth observation data and analytics, has closed a Series A round of $15m in equity capital and venture debt. The round has been led by Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP), India and Promus Ventures, with participation from Omidyar Network India, and xto10X. With this investment, SatSure’s plans of launching a fleet of four high resolution optical and multispectral satellites continues to be on track for Q4, 2025.
Founded in 2017, SatSure leverages satellite imagery and AI to deliver decision intelligence from space, translating to valuable insights for various industries, including agriculture, banking, and critical infrastructure. The fresh round of financing will also be used by the company to accelerate product innovation and expand its operations across the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.
Along with the lead investors, this round also saw the participation of existing investors Force Ventures, Luckbox Ventures, and IndigoEdge Advisors. The closure of this round follows the strategic investments which SatSure received from the top private sector Indian banks, announced earlier in February, 2023. SatSure’s decision analytics are powering greater profitability, improved operational efficiency, and effective policy decision making for its customers, with the convergence of satellite data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Current use cases which the firm caters to are spread across enabling farmer financial inclusion, improved debt service management in the rural areas, mortgage loan monitoring, enabling agrichemicals hyperlocal sales intelligence and distribution strategy, aeronautical data management, vegetation monitoring for utilities, construction change detection, and commodities procurement intelligence, to name a few.
SatSure expressed enthusiasm about the investment closure, with Prateep Basu, Founder & CEO stating, “We are thrilled to have such a great group of investors, who are supporting us in the journey towards becoming a full stack Earth observation data player. We are committed to expand our outreach, invest in Low-earth orbit satellite assets, and continue developing innovative products that signifies the rise of the India private space sector and its deep rooted alignment to our national space program.”
“SatSure is building deep technology expertise and solving tough problems. Our continued confidence in the company’s vision is built on the global customer traction, a very talented team, and the large markets they are opening up through their product and business innovation,” said Arul Mehra, Partner at BPEP, India, which had also led SatSure’s pre-series A round in October, 2021.
Promus Ventures, a leading venture capital firm investing in DeepTech and based in Chicago, San Francisco and Luxembourg, is known for its investments in DeepTech early-stage companies, including Space and AI. Pierre Festal, Partner at Promus Ventures said, “Promus Ventures’ investment in SatSure is a testament to our confidence in the company’s capabilities and the tremendous potential of geospatial analytics for scaling globally. We are excited to partner with SatSure and support their expansion into new markets while fostering innovation in the space industry.”
SatSure is a DeepTech, Decision Intelligence company headquartered in Bangalore, India. Leveraging satellite imagery and AI, SatSure provides valuable insights to industries such as agriculture, insurance, and infrastructure. Their solutions empower clients to make data-driven decisions and drive sustainable development.
(Source: PR Newswire)
29 Aug 23. Space Robotics Startup GITAI Raises an Additional US$15m in Funding. GITAI USA Inc. and GITAI Japan Inc. (GITAI), the world’s leading space robotics startup company, has raised an additional US$15 m for the Series B Extension round. Combined with the US$30 m funding announced in May of this year, the total amount of the Series B Extension round is now US$45 m.
The additional funds raised in this round will be primarily used to achieve the following objectives:
Two variations of “GITAI Lunar Rover”
GITAI Lunar Rover
- Business expansion in the U.S.
- Partial coverage of the lunar surface demonstration
In this round, GITAI raised funds through a third-party allotment from the following companies and funds:
- Green Co-Invest Investment Limited Partnership
- Pacific Bays Fund 1 & 1A Investment Limited Partnerships (Pacific Bays Capital)
- MSIVC 2021V Venture Capital Investment Limited Partnership (MITSUI SUMITOMO INSURANCE Venture Capital Co., Ltd.)
Additionally, GITAI secured funds through a loan from the following company:
- MUFG Bank, Ltd.
GITAI is the world’s leading space robotics startup, aiming to provide safe and affordable labor in space and reduce operational costs by 100 times. GITAI is developing highly capable, safe, and reliable robots to help build and maintain satellites, space stations, lunar bases, and cities on Mars. (Source: PR Newswire)
29 Aug 23. TAT Technologies Reports Second Quarter 2023 Results. TAT Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: TATT) (“TAT” or the “Company”), a leading provider of products and services to the commercial and military aerospace and ground defense industries, reported today its unaudited results for the three-month and six-month period ended June 30, 2023.
Financial highlights for H1 of 2023:
- Revenues for Q2 2023 were $26.8m, an increase of 29% compared with $20.8m in Q2 2022. Revenues for the six-month period that ended on June 30,2023 increased by 28% to $52.02m compared with $40.7 m in the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022.
- Gross profit for Q2 2023 was $5.4m (20.3% as a percentage of revenues) an increase of 35% compared with $4m (19.4% as a percentage of revenues) in Q2 2022. Gross profit for the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2023 was $9.7m (18.6% as a percentage of revenues) an increase of 36.8% compared with $7m (17.4% as a percentage of revenues) in the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022.
- Adjusted EBITDA for Q2 2023 increased by 291% to $2.57m compared with $0.9m in Q2 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2023 increased by 340% to $4.74m compared with $1.4m in the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022.
- Net lncome in Q2 2023 increased to $1.5m, or income of $0.15 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of ($0.1)m, or loss of ($0.01) per diluted share, in Q2 2022. For the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022, net income was $2.1 m, or income of $0.23 per diluted share compared with a net loss of ($1.7)m, or $(0.19) per diluted share in the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022.
- Cash flow from operations in Q2 2023 was positive $2.5m compared to negative ($2.6)m in Q2 2022. For the six-month period ended on June 30, 2023 cash flow from operations was positive $4.2m compared to negative ($6.4)m in in the six-month period that ended on June 30, 2022.
Mr. Igal Zamir, TAT’s CEO and President commented on the results: “We are excited with the results of the second quarter and the first six month of 2023. TAT continues to improve its revenues, gross margins and profitability. We are enjoying an increase in OEM purchase orders and MRO intake, and with a combination of a positive recovery trend in supply chain and materials availability, both OEM and MRO segments are improving. We continue to grow our APU line of business, a direct result of the Company’s growth strategy, and our operations are focused on increasing capacity and improving efficiency to meet our customers’ growing demand and expectations across all business segments.
Mr. Zamir continued: “We are very optimistic with the expected results for the second half of the year as we see a strong order backlog. We are prepared to implement the second wave of our landing gear contracts with 2 of our strategic customers, which will yield additional revenues towards 2024. Also, we completed our operational preparations to enable us to bid for RFPs to support both the APU 331-500 and APU 131 product lines serving a worldwide fleet of over 17,000 aircrafts.” (Source: PR Newswire)
29 Aug 23. Contract wins have turned BATM into a buy. A provider of cyber security and network solutions is winning high-margin contracts.
- First half pre-tax profit up 18 per cent to $0.7m on 4.6 per cent higher revenue of $60.2m
- Improvement in gross margin from 31.6 to 35.3 per cent
- Cyber and network unit returns to profit
- Net cash of $36.3m (6.6p)
- Board maintains full-year sales and profit guidance
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC:26p), a provider of medical laboratory systems, diagnostic kits, cyber security and network solutions, is benefiting from higher margin contract wins in its networking and cyber division.
Although divisional revenue edged up slightly to $13.3m (£10.6mn), accounting for 22 per cent of the group total, the unit’s gross margin surged from 40.1 to 51.2 per cent to deliver an operating profit of $0.1m. That’s quite some turnaround from the $1.3m first half loss reported by the unit in the same period of 2022.
It is mainly being driven by BATM’s high-margin edge computing and network function virtualisation software product suite, Edgility, which continues to gain momentum. Chief executive Moti Nagar revealed to Investors’ Chronicle that the unit’s revenue doubled in the latest six-month period and he expects to announce a major extension of last autumn’s $3.5m five-year contract award with CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent carrier-neutral full fibre platform. The deployment of Edgility’s contract with CEMEX (US: CX) is being accelerated by the global construction materials company, too.
Importantly, BATM continues to win new contracts, the latest being a major five-year award with a leading provider of emergency connectivity services in North America. This is the first time Edgility is being used for a government application to support critical public infrastructure. Specifically, it will deliver the call-handling system for 911 Emergency Services and the 988 National Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Crisis Lifeline across a major US State.
Utilising the Edgility platform to run critical applications close to end-users at the edge of the network reduces network latency and improves response and call resolution times. It also enables the virtualisation of multiple applications on a single device, reducing the need for additional hardware, and cutting power consumption. To maximise the commercial market opportunity, BATM is undergoing proof-of-concept trials with leading network operators, system integrators and service providers and has entered several partnerships, too. Expect further news flow on contract win, some of which could be “significant”.
Another reason to expect a sustainable return to profitability for the group’s cyber security and networking division is the improving trading outlook. At the start of 2023, a long standing defence department customer awarded BATM a $26m five-year contract which commences in the second half and provides strong revenue visibility. Moti “expects the unit to receive further orders in the second half.”
Improved second half performance
True, the biomedical division’s first half operating profit declined from $2.9m to $2.2m on 5.6 per cent higher revenue of $46.9m, but this was due to much lower higher margin Covid-19 product sales and the second half performance is expected to continue the upward sales trajectory.
In the first half, the group’s medical distribution and Eco-med units delivered 11 per cent and 51 per cent revenue growth, respectively, the former benefiting from higher volumes and price increases and the latter delivering bio-waste treatment products for medical settings including hospitals.
Furthermore, there are no Covid-19 product sales embedded into analyst forecasts, so there is scope for outperformance in the event of another outbreak. In the latest 28-day reporting period to 17 August 2023, World Health Organisation data reveals over 1.4mn new Covid-19 infections, a 63 per cent increase compared to the previous 28 days.
Full-year guidance maintained
It’s important to note that although first half pre-tax profit increased from $0.6m to $0.7m, it is stated after a 12-fold rise in share-based payments (SBPs) to $1.2m for the new management team. However, even after factoring in $1.5m of SBPs for the full-year, house broker Shore Capital still expects reported pre-tax profit to surge from $1.9m to $3.4m on 13 per cent higher revenue of $131.6m. The growth not only reflects higher margin sales from the cyber security and networking unit, but delivery of 10G and 100G products from the group’s carrier ethernet solutions.
The bigger picture is what happens next year as revenue from these activities scale up. Analysts at Shore Capital have taken a stab, pencilling in a doubling of pre-tax profit to $6.9mn on 16 per cent higher revenue of $153.6m. On this basis, the shares are priced on a cash-adjusted 2024 price/earnings (PE) ratio of 26, eight times 2024 cash profit estimates to enterprise valuation, and on 1.2 times book value, ratings that have scope to expand if BATM maintains the current contract momentum. I also note that the board plans to deploy some of the group’s $36.3m net cash to add capability through acquisitions, mainly to enhance market access in the networking business, and is considering divestments if it can secure attractive terms, too. So, having last rated the shares a hold, at 25.5p (‘This tech business is a few steps away from a re-rating’, 6 March 2023), and ahead of a likely raft of positive news flow, the shares now rate a buy. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
29 Aug 23. SIONYX Announces Acquisition of Amigen and New Chief Technology Officer. Silicon-based photonics company SIONYX announced the acquisition of American Imaging Engineering (Amigen), a premier thermal imaging system provider, expanding the limits of what’s possible in the imaging technology and night vision markets. The move adds the founder and President of Amigen, Jeffrey Lee, as Chief Technology Officer of SIONYX’s commercial products division. Jeff is a product visionary who has led many of the industry’s most impactful thermal imaging innovations in his over 20 years of category growth.
SIONYX has led the charge of designing and implementing innovative products in the nascent digital night vision market, leveraging their proprietary ultra-low-light CMOS image sensor technology to dramatically enhance the performance of light sensing devices commonly used in consumer, industrial, medical, and defense-related applications. SIONYX’s acquisition of Amigen signifies new possibilities in the imaging technology industry.
“Our mission at SIONYX has always been to create innovative low-light products that help professionals and enthusiasts do more in the dark,” said Robert Pignataro, General Manager of the Commercial Product Division of SIONYX. “Bringing Amigen’s proprietary software in-house at SIONYX will allow for further development and integration into a wider range of markets and provide a wealth of sophisticated options for our customers.”
Drawing on extensive expertise, Amigen has a proven track record developing a diverse range of products thanks to its digital imaging fusion software, which fuses thermal with visible sensors for direct view and low-power systems. Amigen’s technology has found successful applications in defense, sporting/hunting, and related markets that benefit from night vision. The acquisition will pave the way for accelerated product design and development of integrated color digital and thermal night vision technologies and products. The accomplished Amigen team will bolster SIONYX’s product development unit, contributing a wealth of industry insight and proficiency in integrating fused thermal imaging solutions.
“The entire organization and I are enthusiastic about this merger,” said Jeff Lee, CTO of SIONYX. “We envision a future where digital and thermal night vision becomes as ubiquitous as the mobile phone camera. Our combined technologies, talents, and resources will empower us to bring our game-changing technologies to market faster. Our night vision product solutions highlight the best of consumer functionality and military performance, making our customers’ jobs and daily lives safer and easier.”
All Amigen and SIONYX customers and partners can expect a seamless transition and continued dedication to delivering high-performance imaging solutions. The acquisition and future developments at SIONYX will continue creating inventive products that allow the human eye to be more well-equipped and prepared for any adventure or mission.
28 Aug 23. LeoStella and Hera Systems Establish Strategic Alliance. Focused on revolutionizing satellite manufacturing and diversifying customers’ choices for multi-satellite solicitations, smallsat experts LeoStella and Hera Systems have announced a strategic manufacturing alliance. This collaboration will mitigate supply chain risks, increase the reliability of production and delivery schedules, and maintain competitive pricing for small satellite constellations.
LeoStella, a small satellite manufacturing company transforming constellation construction, and Hera Systems, a satellite company applying a new class of smart, high-performance spacecraft, introduced the collaboration through a combined manufacturing proposal for the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 2 Transport Layer. As part of the proposal, the companies will collaborate on manufacturing the Hera Systems’ Leoness™ Smart Bus product line. This space-proven platform lends itself to a range of mission applications, has a unique level of network security and mission-specific customization within a high-TRL (technology readiness level), and is SWaP-optimized (size, weight and power).
This collaboration leverages the proven, highly efficient manufacturing capabilities of LeoStella. To date, LeoStella has manufactured and delivered 20 satellites. LeoStella has a proven track record of delivering satellites right on time; the company’s satellites have over 37 years of on-orbit heritage and boast 99% mission availability, delivering high performance and remarkable reliability.
“Our shared pursuit of efficient manufacturing and supply chain management will enhance our competitiveness in a sector known for its complexity,” said Tim Kienberger, LeoStella CEO. “Roger [Hera Systems CEO] and I recognize the challenges many new space companies experience as they scale to meet production timelines for multi-satellite agreements. This strategic collaboration will leverage our resources to directly address schedule and delivery risks that other providers encounter due to supply chain constraints, facility limitations, and staffing shortages.”
LeoStella and Hera Systems and their respective leadership teams bring proven experience and a track record of success in satellite manufacturing. Together, the CEOs of LeoStella and Hera Systems have over six decades of collective leadership experience in space systems and hands-on expertise in effectively managing intricate space programs crucial to national security and innovative commercial solutions. Kienberger and Roberts have scaled aerospace organizations and are driven by delivering spacecraft on time, on budget, and mission-ready.
Dr. Roger Roberts, Hera Systems president and CEO, further emphasized, “By strategically using our collective resources and expertise, we are tackling the challenges of the space industry head-on. This collaboration allows us to jointly mitigate capacity and supply chain risks that other manufacturers face independently. It enables us to pursue more ambitious projects and meet the associated customer schedule and cost challenges while facilitating measured growth and long-term success for both companies.”
The alliance between LeoStella and Hera Systems on the SDA Tranche 2 Transport Layer proposal marks the first collaboration in what is projected to be a long-term relationship to expand the smallsat ecosystem and ensure the rapid delivery of spacecraft for commercial and government customers.
LeoStella is a state-of-the-art satellite design and manufacturing company transforming constellation construction by building smallsats, cost-effectively and at scale. Based in Tukwila, Washington, LeoStella is a joint venture between Thales Alenia Space and BlackSky. The company was founded to meet the growing demand for efficient satellite development and manufacturing arising from the increasing number of constellations. For more information, visit www.leostella.com/.
About Hera Systems
Headquartered in San Jose, Hera Systems was founded with the goal of developing a new class of small but smart, high-performance spacecraft, driven by the evolving requirements for national missions operating in Contested Space. Its smart bus, digital twin, and unique software products are supporting the use of smallsat-based solutions in key missions such as Space Domain Awareness, Rendezvous Proximity Operations, Mesh Network Communications, and In-Orbit Refueling. Leoness-based solutions support Trusted Autonomy in constellations from VLEO to GEO and beyond. Learn more at www.herasys.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
SPX CommTech, part of SPX Technologies Inc, innovates specialised technologies within the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum to ensure a smarter, more secure future for all. Formed by TCI and ECS, SPX CommTech’s Battlespace portfolio enables defence and security teams to detect, defeat and exploit RF signals to enhance communications intelligence (COMINT) and counter unmanned aerial systems (Counter-UAS). Additionally, its Tactical Data Link portfolio allows intelligence gathering agencies, special forces, emergency response, and security teams to securely and reliably transfer video and data between enabled-aircraft and ground teams over long distances for airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR). For more information visit www.tcibr.com and www.enterprisecontrol.co.uk