ITOCHU Announces Investment in Spire Global, a Satellite Data Analytics Company, and Conclusion of Reseller Agreement

September 25, 2019

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it will invest in Spire Global, Inc. (headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA; Peter Platzer, CEO; hereinafter “Spire”) and concluded a reseller agreement for acquired satellite data and related services in Japan and Southeast Asia.

Recent technological innovations make satellites smaller and satellite launches less expensive. Commercial use of satellites is increasing around the world. The market size of the space business is projected to reach one trillion dollars by 2040. In the future, many different businesses will be created using data acquired in space.*

Spire itself designs and manufactures ultra-small satellites weighing about 5 kilograms and, in May this year, launched and successfully orbited its 100th satellite. Spire Satellites specialize in receiving signals in outer space and acquiring three types of data, including data on the status of aircraft around the world, data on the status of ships, and GPS radio occultation data for monitoring atmospheric conditions. Spire analyze these data every day. In particular, GPS radio occultation data are expected to, as a next-generation technology for high-precision weather forecasts, be useful in many different domains, such as agriculture, construction, retail, energy, and disaster management. Spire will launch more satellites and acquire more data turning them into big data, enabling effective utilization of the data in many analyses.

In addition to the investment in Spire, ITOCHU has concluded a reseller agreement in Japan and Southeast Asia. We will sell the three types of data acquired by Spire and expand the sale of solutions including receiving orders from customer for the entire satellite service from manufacturing to operation and data acquisition.. Also, we will create new value in different business domains by combining Spire’s technologies for the collection and utilization of satellite data with ITOCHU Group’s businesses and customer bases.

ITOCHU sets forth the “reinvention” of business in the basic policy of its Medium-term Management Plan. The entire ITOCHU Group is committed to improvements of its business models and enhancement of its value chain. Through the capital and business partnership with Spire, ITOCHU will keep gaining customers and developing markets in an effort to expand its space-related business.

  • *The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. “Space: The Next Investment Frontier” (April 2017)

Outline of Spire

Name Spire Global, Inc.
CEO Peter Platzer
Head office location San Francisco, California, USA
Established August 2012
Description of business Offering services using data acquired by small satellite constellations