Leading global satellite-observed data provider VanderSat to be acquired by US-based Planet

VanderSat, a leading provider of global satellite data and analytics, has signed an agreement to be acquired by US-based Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth. Adding Vandersat’s unique, all-weather data products to Planet’s high-cadence and high-resolution global monitoring will bring even greater value to users in agriculture, civil government and insurance. Hogenhouck m&a advised VanderSat’s shareholders in this transaction.

VanderSat’s innovative products help customers better measure and understand water management and crop health in major markets. Planet intends to leverage VanderSat’s technologies and products in further pursuit of bringing to market next-generation solutions of commercial and public satellite data to provide clear and actionable information to help industries, non-profits, and governments around the world.

Bringing earth observation data to daily use

Starting with founder Richard de Jeu – who is among the top 0.1% of most cited researchers worldwide – and co-founders Robbert Mica and Thijs van Leeuwen, it has been VanderSat’s journey to take earth observation with satellite data and analytics out of the academic arena, and put it into the hands of farmers, insurers, watermanagers, traders and much more. VanderSat offers a unique and patented technology that enables observations without interference from clouds and darkness.

VanderSat is now a leading provider of global “satellite-observed” data, products and services over land on Earth, with a special emphasis on water and crops. This gives users vital insights into soil and crop conditions by applying mathematical expertise to raw data from satellites from NASA, ESA and JAXA.

VanderSat’s unique algorithms deliver daily, global data with high accuracy, unhindered by changing cloud cover and atmospheric conditions. Dr. Thijs van Leeuwen, CEO of VanderSat said, “VanderSat’s goal is to serve one billion acres of land by 2024. By partnering with Planet, our mission and impact can be dramatically accelerated and together we aim to reach this goal by 2022.”

Combination with Planet’s extensive fleet of satellites

Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. The company’s mission is to bring the world into focus every day and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Planet – founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists – designs, builds and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, collecting more than 3 million images per day.

“We are excited to welcome the VanderSat team to Planet. We expect that VanderSat’s analytics and industry expertise will help Planet provide ‘up the stack’ solutions to bridge the gap from complex ‘remote sensing’ science to products that provide enhanced data to the ecosystem and our customers. When this new data is combined with Planet’s, the value is far greater than the sum of its parts,” said Will Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Planet.

The growth story of VanderSat

Hogenhouck m&a has been involved in the company’s growth, arranging two rounds of investment in 2017 and 2020. Mark van Beusekom, partner at Hogenhouck m&a: “VanderSat is well positioned with a highly specialized team and unique algorithms. The company combines an interesting and scalable business model with the ability to have real impact on a global scale. In Planet, VanderSat has found the ideal partner to further scale and increase impact.”

Iris van Weel, director at Hogenhouck m&a, on this transaction, “Planet’s intended listing on the NYSE through a SPAC created tight deadlines and additional layers of complexity in the process. It was a tremendous pleasure to work with the team at VanderSat, with their continued commitment and the professionalism of all parties involved leading to this great result.”

Tight deadlines due to IPO with a SPAC

Planet will become a publicly traded company through a merger with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (DMYQ), a “special purpose acquisition company. The combined company will retain the Planet name and will be listed on NYSE under the ticker symbol “PL.

Under the agreement, Planet will acquire VanderSat for approximately $28 million, consisting of $18 million in Class A common stock of Planet Labs PBC, valued at a price per share equal to the closing price of Class A common stock of Planet Labs PBC on the NYSE on the last trading day prior to the completion of the acquisition of VanderSat, and in addition approximately $10 million in cash.

The VanderSat transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, as is the completion of the mergers with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV). VanderSat becomes Planet’s fourth acquisition (BlackBridge ’15, Terra Bella ’17 and Boundless ’19). Planet plans to continue to look at opportunities to accelerate its product and business goals through acquisitions as a natural consolidator in the earth observation space.

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