EARTHCUBE RAISES 20 MILLION EUROS IN SERIES A FUNDING CONSOLIDATING ITS POSITION AS A LEADING EUROPEAN “DEF TECH” START-UP AND CHANGES ITS NAME TO PRELIGENS
This fundraise was led by Ace Management, alongside Definvest, the fund managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, together with further investment from historic investor 360 Capital. It will enable Earthcube to pursue and accelerate its hypergrowth phase:
● Intensifying the development of cutting-edge technologies to address new use cases in the defence and intelligence sector
● Rapidly growing its international footprint
The raise in capital was led by Ace Management (a leading fund in the strategic industries and cybersecurity sector), Definvest, a fund dedicated to strategic companies in the defence industry, and existing seed investor 360 Capital, a fund renowned in Europe for its deep-tech expertise. These three funds are also joined by a number of expert private investors, notably including Octave Klaba,
This new funding will enable Preligens to continue its hypergrowth phase (the company quadrupled its turnover in 2019 and 2020) and maintain its technological advantage in the field of artificial intelligence applied to the defence and intelligence sector. Headquartered in Paris with newly established offices in Washington D.C. and London, the company has grown to 80 people becoming Europe’s biggest artificial intelligence research centre in its field.
According to Arnaud Guérin, Co-founder and CEO of Preligens “For our model, which is first and foremost based on the commercial successes of our products and the recognition of the excellence of our technologies, this funding round constitutes a powerful accelerator for developing our technological innovations even faster and intensifying the pace of our geographical conquest.”
Florence Parly, France’s Minister of the Armed Forces, echoed the enthusiasm “We’ve been working with Preligens – formerly Earthcube - since its beginnings! This national treasure’s applications are essential for the defence sector. They give us a real operational advantage by improving the way we utilise our geospatial information: without Preligens, we wouldn’t see certain things. I am proud that the French Ministry of the Armed Forces is participating in this funding round via Definvest. It’s a real French success story; yesterday’s start-up is now a European leader employing 80 people with a range of very complex skills, directly participating in our national sovereignty.”
Preligens is highly advanced in geospatial data analysis driven by artificial intelligence. The investment will allow Preligens to exploitwider sources of intelligence deemed crucialto the defence and intelligence sector. Thesedevelopments will enable Preligensto expandthe possibilities of its algorithms, better anticipate the evolving needs of its clients, and address the challenges of the future battlespace.
The technologies developed by Preligens give a significant competitive advantage and have considerable potential with France’s Allies. Outside of France, the company is already present in the United Kingdom, in several European Union countries and in the United States of America. Preligens intends to consolidate its presence in these markets whilst opening up new ones.
According to Augustin Blanchard, Partner at Ace Management, “The Preligens team appealed to us because of the pertinence and power of its technology which translates very tangibly into significant contracts in Europe and internationally. This technological lead enables it to clearly stand out in its market.”
Nicolas Berdou, Defense expert investor at Bpifrance comments: “As a player dedicated to supporting innovative companies that are developing disruptive and strategic technologies for our country, we are very proud to participate in the Preligens funding round and to support the growth of this valuable French company domestically and internationally.”
Alexandre Mordacq, General Partner at 360 Capital, concludes: “We have supported Earthcube, now Preligens, since its beginnings and we have been most impressed by the company’s capacity to grow and develop over the past years. The founders and their team have successfully demonstrated that the defence and intelligence sector can offer superb opportunities for particularly agile and innovative start- ups.”
Finally, on the occasion of this capital raising, Preligens is announcing two new independent members of its Strategic Committee:
- Fabrice Aubert, Group General Secretary at Nexity, whose previous roles included the position of Adviser on Institutions, Public Action and Digital Transition in the cabinet of Emmanuel Macron, President of France, from 2017 to 2019; and
- Marc Fontaine, former Head of Digital Transformation at Airbus from 2016 to 2020, who has also held various executive roles, including Chief of Staff for Tom Enders and then for Fabrice Brégier from 2007 to 2016.
Ace Management : Augustin Blanchard, François Lavaste, Nathan Le Clanche Bpifrance : Nicolas Berdou, Maud Henrotte, Marie-Laetitia Vassort
Investment bank: Clipperton Finance (Thibaut Revel, Eloi Verspieren) Company advice: Dechert LLP (Xavier Leroux, Johann Gandilhon)
Investor advice: Orrick Rambaud Martel (Benjamin Cichostepski, Vincent Babin), Gide Loyrette Nouel (Pierre Karpik)
Financial audit: Grant Thornton (Nicolas Tixier, Stéphany Brevost)
Legal audit: Orrick Rambaud Martel
Audit RH : Boyden France (Anita Pouplard)