The first has started: who and why launches private satellites in Russia

The founder of Dauria Aerospace Mikhail Kokorich: "On average, for newly established enterprises the chance to miss the market expectations is more than 50%, while the crash risk is only 5%."
Origin source
On the night of 19 the first two in the Russian private Perseus-M satellite companies "Dauria Aerospace" was launched on June 20th. A month later, it will launch another spacecraft company. What is created and what will make private satellite constellation, the founder of Forbes asked "Dauria Aerospace" Mikhail and Ilya Kokorich Golubovic, managing partner of venture fund I2BF Global Ventures, who invested $ 20 million in the space project.

Ilya, why in "Dauria" has decided to invest so seriously I2BF Global Ventures?

IG .: We have been watching the industry. The trends were evident - the last three years, VCs worldwide are actively invested in space. The interest in private space investment is growing. We thought that maybe we have something interesting. Negotiations with a large number of people from a variety of companies in the Russian space industry. I was surprised to find that in Russia there are several private companies that profit from space large enough revenues and earnings. But they have several other models operate than "Dauria" - in fact they resell chuzhe pictures with foreign satellites.

And we wanted to find a company that itself will take pictures from space, on their basis to create services and to earn it. We met with Michael at one of the forums and a half years ago. Just like the fact that it is not aimed at obtaining government contracts, but primarily focused on creating commercial services that the market demands - this is a more sustainable business model. We started negotiations on investment. At the beginning of the year began in October, we closed the deal by paying $ 20 million for a minority stake (total in the "Dauria" invested $ 30 million, $ 10 million have Kokorich partners - Forbes.).

Michael, you're quite successfully sold to retail chains' Technosila "and" Yuterra ", do not have enough of their own money? What part of investors?

MK .: In the current projects the money was, and we could without them and investors to finish. But capital-intensive business, and thus our projected rate of growth was much more, we were in a segment that will require more and more investments. In addition, we need to create a public history, so that kaCoy point to attract money for an IPO. Firstly, we initially wanted to create a large public company. Secondly, we need to attract the most powerful people in the industry, respectively, to share with them future success - giving options, for example.

Now I can not pay the $ 300 000, can $ 100,000 and options. But this can not be done without an external assessment of the company. I2BF Global Ventures, we made this assessment.

At the end of 2012 "Dauria" won the tender to build two Roscosmos microsatellites weighing up to 10 kg, beating authoritative TsSKB "Progress", and received 315 million rubles contract. As it is a private company managed to almost completely state of the Russian space industry?

MK .: We won by the ratio of "the proposed options / price of the device." The tender was to build satellites that can take off the ground in the optical range with a fairly broad parameters, and we have offered to make the device with a very high quality multi-spectral camera, with which you can analyze the information selhozposevam, forest land, natural disastersand catastrophes.

IG .: Incidentally, I spoke with people from the Russian Space Agency, the management of large companies of the space industry and asked the same question: you build satellites 50 years, and why the contract gave the "Dauria"? The answer was: if the contract goes to the Russian company, they are limited in the use of the device nodes, blocks, components. Now there was a change in a component-based, all cheaper in the world, "Dauria", as opposed to institutions and corporations, and the mobile is able to use the so-called industrial components, adapting them for use in space.

MK .: We build satellites for units of millions of dollars, while others would be built in Russia for their tens and hundreds. In the domestic space industry enterprises build excellent companions, but they never were engaged in service. Of course, there is the specificity of the military, and for a certain class component base satellites really should have its own, domestic - in the event of the imposition of trade restrictions, for example.

How much money is spent on the construction of two units Perseus-M and what theywill be engaged in space?

MK .: About $ 5 million for the creation of the entire group will spend $ 15 million. The satellites are equipped with a block system of data exchange between seagoing and terrestrial services (AIS), which transmit information on the location of the ship, its course, speed, draft, etc.. d. and warns of possible clashes. We signed an agreement with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Morsviazsputnik" on the joint use of satellites to monitor river and sea vessels.

When the next year will be put into orbit satellites with optical camera, we will expand the circle of clients, including among them are agricultural, fertilizer producers, media companies, commodity traders.

We have two themes. One - satellite imagery and services based on it. We cooperate with a foreign partner - to share information and create a single system. The second - the transfer of information in space and back. Of Caterpillar, for example, already the standard puts these devices in factories and after the sale knows where his technique works and in what technical condition is. Scope etc.Menenius our services is huge.

Are not you afraid that your companions will fail during take-off or will not be put into orbit? Such cases are not uncommon in the Russian space program.

MK .: There is no such problem. For us, a greater risk of not guess, and to create a system, services for which there will be market demand. This risk is much higher than the risk of losing the device in the event of a crash. On average, for newly established enterprises the chance to guess the market is not more than 50%, and crash risk - only 5%.