In preparation for the global implementation of a new vessel monitoring and tracking service, Horizon Technologies has received a multi-million pound growth investment to launch Amber™, its innovative maritime domain awareness technology into space.
The finance package, which comprises both private equity and venture debt funding, has been secured by Alexander Duffy and the corporate finance team at Menzies LLP. Maven Capital Partners invested a significant amount in growth equity into the thriving aerospace company while Virgin Money provided a growth debt facility.
Horizon Technologies is one of the world leaders in the development of multi-functional airborne Sat Phone monitoring systems for use in Surveillance, Intelligence and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications. Back in April 2019, the company secured the backing of the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) and Innovate UK to expand and adapt on its existing FlyingFishTM signals intelligence (SIGINT) system for a 6U CubeSat platform.
Amber™ will offer commercial SIGINT as a service (SAAS) for maritime vessel tracking. The payload will be able to locate and track vessels worldwide by detecting their RF emissions using L, X, and S-Band sensors as well as an AlS receiver. Revisit times are expected to be 4 to 7 hours to each covered global region per day, reducing this to 1.5 to 2 hours and the full constellation to less than an hourin the future second generation.
With a plan in place for late summer to launch its technology into space, Horizon Technologies already has the support of commercial companies, multiple government agencies and other government-backed bodies, including the UK Ministry of Defence and the National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) in Portsmouth, UK.
Alexander Duffy, Menzies Corporate Finance Director and lead adviser to Horizon Technologies in securing the funding package, said:
“When I met John Beckner, CEO at Horizon Technologies, I knew his organization was clearly a front runner in the market. Its cutting-edge technology, once adapted for a space-based platform, would generate strong international market demand. We have been thrilled to help Horizon Technologies articulate their proposition and story in the most compelling way possible, backed up by robust financial forecasts and advising how to structure a funding package to suit the company’s entrepreneurial ambitions.
“John and the Horizon Technologies team have paved the way for a platform that provides something new to the market; commercial SIGINT as a Service (SaaS) as part of its standard Data as a Service (DaaS) business model. This data will be hugely valuable for many organizations worldwide.”
John Beckner, CEO at Horizon Technologies, said: “This capital funding will enable us to launch our application-ready technology into space via numerous satellites to deliver an ultra-reliable maritime domain awareness data service. We are already talking to potential users of these new services in the media, shipping, finance, and defence industries. Alex and his team have been great to work with and enabled us to be in the position where we can really take full advantage of our first-to-market technology. ”
Luke Matthews, Investment Director at Maven Capital Partners, said:
”We are excited to support Horizon Technologies as the Amber™ programme progresses to this next, exciting stage. John and his team have done a remarkable job in developing the business to this point, and we are delighted to find a local company with truly global opportunities ahead of it. Menzies LLP has also done excellent work in guiding the process through its inevitable challenges and complications, executing a deal process with moving parts across continents and time zones, and during a number of national lockdowns. Their guidance, support and willingness to roll their sleeves up ensured the process progressed as required.”
Ylan Lamour, Associate Director, Growth Finance at Virgin Money, said:
“Under the guidance of a well-established and respected management team, Horizon Technologies has consistently pioneered the growth of the Signals Intelligence market and is now well-positioned to take the next step in its growth path. The team at Virgin Money is delighted to have collaborated with Menzies and Maven to create a tailored package of support which will allow Horizon Technologies to continue to innovate and grow its business.”
International law firm, Jones Day, acted as legal advisers to Horizon Technologies’ management team and assisted Menzies LLP in structuring the funding package.
Complementing the services provided by the firm’s corporate finance team, tax specialists at Menzies LLP helped Horizon Technologies with R&D tax credits, Corporate tax and general accounting and company secretarial services.