VanderSat to be acquired by Planet

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

VanderSat, a leading provider of global satellite-observed data, 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 is now a leading provider of global satellite-observed data, products and services over land with a special emphasis on water and crops.

VanderSat gives its customers essential insights into soil and crop conditions by applying mathematical expertise to raw data from a constellation of satellites from NASA, ESA and JAXA. Dr. Thijs van Leeuwen, CEO of VanderSat: “VanderSat is a mission-driven company with the goal to serve one billion hectares of land in 2024. By joining Planet, our mission and impact will be dramatically accelerated and together, we aim to reach that goal in 2022.”

Combining with Planet’s largest Earth observation satellite fleet

Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the VanderSat team to Planet. We expect VanderSat’s analytics and industry expertise will help Planet provide solutions ‘up the stack’ to bridge the gap from complex remote-sensing science to products that offer improved data to the ecosystem and our customers. And when one combines their new data with Planet’s, the value is far greater than the sum of its parts,” said Will Marshall, CEO and Co-Founder of Planet.

The VanderSat journey

Hogenhouck m&a has been involved in the growth of the company, arranging two investment rounds 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 a real impact on a global scale. In Planet, VanderSat has found the ideal partner to further scale-up and to increase its impact.”

Iris van Weel, director at Hogenhouck m&a, about this transaction: “The intended listing of Planet at the NYSE through a SPAC introduced tight deadlines and additional layers of complexity. It has been an immense pleasure to work with VanderSat’s team, with its ongoing commitment, and the professionalism from all parties involved that has led to this great result.”

Tight deadlines because of the merger with a SPAC

Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, 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 be listed on NYSE under the ticker symbol “PL.”

Under the agreement, Planet is set to acquire VanderSat for approximately $28 million, which consists of $18 million in shares of Class A common stock of Planet Labs PBC, valued at a per share price 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 consummation of the acquisition of VanderSat, and approximately $10 million in cash.

The VanderSat transaction is expected to close in Q4 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, as well as the closing of the mergers with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV). VanderSat will be 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.