Let's talk a little about Planet Labs PBC (public benefit corporation, feel good hippies).
Planet Labs $PL is an Earth Observation (EO) 🌍 space tech company pivoting to Software as a Service (SaaS) with a $600m cash injection from their recent SPAC merger, giving them a nice and easy 5 year ramp to turn from loss to profit assuming losses remain constant (they're projected to decrease annually).
Right now they are leveraging their existing 75 Petabyte data catalogue to create automated machine learning applications, this is early days but you can for example get regular updates on changes in infrastructure (roads), grain silos, boat/plane counts, change detection, or you can commission your own machine learning (ML) auto task, or you can simply buy the data and do your own ML full stop. These value added products are targetted to agriculture, construction, mapping, sustainability, defense, construction, investigative journalism, media, and FinTech. You tell them what area you want monitored and they provide you with a data feed using their unmatched temporal repeat daily satellite data.
Planet also recently acquired VanderSat, the largest existing collection of EO scientists in any company, in the Netherlands (an EO and Agriculture powerhouse), working on ancillary data (soil moisture, water, biomass) from other sources (passive & active radar), and already selling these solutions, well now they are part of Planet and their offerings are going to be bundled in to Planets ag service making it a one stop shop for global crop monitoring. As climate change effects amplify this is only going to be more important, both for increasing resource use efficiency, mitigating extreme conditions, and for providing data for insurance if/when crop failures occur (2021 was a record year for this).
Since the last time I posted they've also shown off Planet Fusion, their best in class optical data solution that fuses PlanetScope daily optical data with Sentinel-2 to provide daily measures with consistent spectral info across both satellites, and most importantly this data stream has been picked up by their new partner Sinergise, aka Sentinel Hub. Sentinel-2 is free, but it's 10m resolution (for the RGB-NIR) and 6-12 day repeats, meaning it's blocked by clouds all the goddamn time. The enormity of this announcement seems to have been missed by the market, you can already stream Planet data direct to your Google Earth Engine analysis workspace (massively tooled up for Corps, look into the recent expansion of GEE to multinationals for supply chain monitoring if you don't think this is exciting...), well now you also get it in the EU's GEE equivalent, Sentinel Hub. Why?? Because they are showing that it's the best in class solution to providing the monitoring necessary for the Common Agricultural Policy when it relaunches with a sustainability focus in the coming years. This is bullish AF.
What's happening then a quick recap?
Planet are selling data via Sentinel Hub that will be used by National level initatives across Europe to implement the CAP (1/3 of the EUs budget is in CAP, EU386bn).
Planet have acquired the best in class agricultural data specialist VanderSat so now have the best measures of everything relevant under one roof.
Planet data are already streamed direct into Google Earth Engine, the best developed platform out their for EO data analysis, and this is currently being commercialised by Google targetting massive multinationals.
Planet are already hitting/exceeding their growth targets, and it's looking that they will continue to do so. Alongside the above they have Pelicans launching in 2023 (new best in class high res satellites they have built themselves to replace the aging SkySat fleet [built by Maxar]).
PlanetScope is moving to the SuperDoves which have gone from 4 band (RGB-NIR) to 8 band (adding Coastal Blue (better aerosol correction), a 2nd green (for crop health, species discrimination), Yellow (idk y), Red-Edge (plant health, plant species discrimination).
spectral bands of the Dove, Dove-R and SuperDoves
They have already done the bulk of the necessary CapEx, they have ~250 active Dove-type cube satellites (micro sats) that scan the entire Earth + more surface every day creating a 3.5m resolution map of the entire globe in RGB+near infrared (for vegetation monitoring) soon to be 8 band. They also have 21 taskable 0.5m resolution SkySats that offer a better temporal revisit and thus more flexibility than their competitors, even if those competitors offer better imagery (Maxar/Airbus).
They hit their mission to scan the entire Earth surface in 2017 and have only gone on to expand since.
They are launching more SuperDoves so 🚀.
They're an SPAC and a small cap so the market hates them right now, on launch they plummeted from a $2.8bn valuation to $1.6bn after lowering Q4 guidance due to loss of a government contract, this was due to the fall of the Afghanistan govt so seems unavoidable. At present they seem like they are on track to meet or beat projections.
The initial $2.8bn valuation reflects their 2019 VC value of $2.2bn + $0.6bn in cash. Except they have nearly 50% more customers, over 1/3 more satellites and 30% higher revenues than 2019.
Currently they are trading at half that and ramping the business, with an additional 28 sales positions recruiting under the guidance of the Salesforce CEO and a raft of engineering positions opening up.
Insiders have bought across the $6-7 range, and everything suggests this stock has a floor around $5.90. Google also topped up their ownership from 10% to 13.2% at this level, I would expect they probably know whats up. Google also happen to be the largest player in the EO processing space, currently commercialising their Earth Engine suite to multinationals (Proctor&Gamble, Unilever, etc) for supply chain monitoring. Sustainability is a buzz word rn.
Currently they are the only company with this kind of data set and they are in a unique position to leverage it to produce novel information for a diverse TAM they place at $100bn.
Market is beat to fuck currently trading at $5.50 lower than insider buys and an absurd valuation. Get it whilst it's hot!
TLDR: PLANET SELL DATA, MAKE BIG MORE DATA AND BIG CUSTOMERS LOOK LIKELY IN FUTURE