Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Note to Canadian Space Industry: Find More Larson Brothers!

          By Chuck Black

While this blog will certainly address the August 18th, 2017 release of the Space Advisory Board (SAB) report, "Consultations on Canada’s future in space: What we heard, Space Advisory Board, August 2017," for our upcoming August 25th edition, its worth noting for now that not everyone is looking to the Federal government to facilitate their space based activities.

Brothers in arms. Helios Wire CEO Scott Larson and his brother, UrtheCast CEO Wade Larson. As outlined in the March 20th, 2017 post, "Helios Wire is a Canadian Space Based Internet of Things Startup," Helios Wire was founded by former Urthecast CEO and co-founder Scott Larson to build a space-based Internet of Things (IoT) network using a constellation of 30 low-cost satellites. UrtheCast Co-founder and COO Wade Larson took over as UrtheCast CEO in December 2015. Photo c/o @scolarson & Space News/Science & Technology Facilities Council.

An example would be August 21st, 2017 Helios Wire post, "Helios Wire Raises US$4 Million in Financing to Continue Building its Satellite-Enabled IOT Service," which announced that Vancouver, BC based Helios Wire had raised "an additional $4Mln US ($5.02Mln CDN) in financing to help facilitate the launch of its first two satellites."

Oddly enough, Helios Wire CEO Scott Larson is the brother of UrtheCast CEO Wade Larson and both brothers seem to be having an exceptional summer. 

As outlined in the August 21th, 2017 post, "UrthCast "Customer Funds" $100Mln CDN OptiSAR Constellation Precursor Satellite," the UrtheCast CEO has just brought in his own big contract. But the Helios Wire CEO has also been having a great deal of success. According to brother Scott: 
We’re extremely pleased with the level of investor interest in Helios Wire’s mission. The funds from this round of financing will be put towards the launch of our first satellite this Christmas, as well as the two other satellites scheduled to be launched during the second half of 2018.
We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in the way industries operate. Our goal is to make certain that companies and organizations, regardless of size, are able to participate in the enabling technologies of IoT, particularly in the industrial sectors.

According to the Helios Wire press release, "the Boston Consulting Group has predicted that $267Bln US ($335Bln CDN) will be spent on IoT technologies, products, and services by 2020. Already, IoT is improving operations, but small and medium-sized companies have yet to fully capitalize."

According to Larson, "Today, Industrial IoT is frequently considered to be costly, inaccessible, and best suited for larger, international organizations; but that won’t always be the case." His newest company to take advantage of this trend.

Given that both CEO's seem to have put their money where there mouth is, maybe what the Canadian space industry really needs (despite what the Space Advisory Board and others might think) is a few more people with the mettle of one or both of the Larson brothers.
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.


  1. Chuck - why does canada need more of the Larsons? Seems to me that Urthecast shareholders have been treated to significant devaluation of their equity value since Urthecast went public and suffered massive dilution in that same time period. Do we really need more of that??!?

  2. I think that's a fair question to ask, Mr. Unknown.

    While the Larson brothers have a rarely seen Canadian entrepreneurial vision (which I absolutely applaud and feel we need more of), one can certainly qualify that vision with the performance of the business unit.

    As outlined in the latest November 1st, 2017 Globe and Mail stock post for Urthecast at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/markets/stocks/news/?q=UR-T, "UrtheCast Corp has a net profit margin of -26.98%. Besides being negative, it is also below the industry average and implies that this company is not effective at turning revenues into bottom line profit."

    The next Urthecast quarterly conference call is coming up soon. Let's see how that goes before passing business judgement on the situation.

    Chuck Black


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