Slingshot Aerospace Raises $25 Million to Keep Track of Earth’s Crowded Orbit

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Slingshot Aerospace
Image courtesy of Slingshot Aerospace

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Space data and analytics startup Slingshot Aerospace has expanded its Series A round by adding $25 million in new funding to help grow its team and continue work on its flagship product, a collision avoidance system for space vehicles called Slingshot Beacon.

El Segundo-based Slingshot described the funding as a Series A-1 round that adds to its initial $9.6 million Series A raised in October 2020. The new round was oversubscribed, it said.

“As we started raising that [initial] Series A, we decided to change our strategy and raise a smaller inside-only round with our existing investors, knowing full well that we would do another [Series A-1] round,” Slingshot co-founder and CEO Melanie Stricklan told dot.LA.

The Series A-1 was co-led by venture capitalist Tim Draper’s Draper Associates and ATX Venture Partners. New investors Edison Partners, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Embedded Ventures also joined the round, as did existing investors like Okapi Venture Capital and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund. The funding takes Slingshot Aerospace’s total raised to $42 million since its 2017 launch.

The company hopes its flagship Slingshot Beacon system can be used worldwide to help commercial, civil and government users better communicate to avoid space collisions between satellites and other assets. Stricklan, a former U.S. Air Force officer, said the platform is similar to projects launched by the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron, which uses data from the U.S. Space Surveillance Network to track objects in Earth’s orbit.

But with an estimated 115,000 satellites planned to be launched into space by 2030, Stricklan said the Space Force—which Slingshot Aerospace counts as a client—will be unable to keep track of them all, and that’s where Slingshot Beacon comes in.

“We applaud the 18th Space Control Squadron, but this is not their primary mission and their systems are not scalable to the sheer exponential growth of hardware in orbit right now,” Stricklan said. “We've got to give our commercial owner-operators, civil owner-operators and defense owner-operators around the world the ability to harness this information and communicate across borders.”

The 65-person startup plans to use the funding to hire an additional 40 employees across its engineering, sales and marketing departments over the next year.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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