HawkEye 360’s new funding reflects ongoing investor appetite for defense-focused tech

Virginia-based HawkEye 360 has closed $58 million in new funding, the latest sign that investor appetite for defense-heavy startups is nowhere close to slowing down.

HawkEye operates a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit that collect radio frequency emissions. It can detect, characterize and geolocate these signals, including those from radar systems, some satellite devices, and VHF marine radios. It sells a suite of RF geospatial intelligence products to defense and commercial customers, including maritime and telecommunications companies.

HawkEye currently has 21 satellites in orbit, which it launches in clusters of three. The most recent cluster, called Cluster 7, launched to orbit in April. The company has landed contracts for RF intelligence from the U.S. government, including the National Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Defense’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control program, and allied nations. Earlier this week, HawkEye announced a contract with the Commonwealth of Australia for a pilot program providing marine domain awareness to monitor illegal and unregulated fishing.

The company is one of a handful of geospatial intelligence companies whose systems have gained traction since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company was able to use its satellites to track GPS interference signals on and around Ukraine in the months prior to the conflict starting in February 2022.

The company’s offerings have attracted capital from both venture investors and private equity firms; this latest tranche was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with additional funding from Manhattan Venture Partners and existing investors, including PE firm Insight Partners, NightDragon, Razor’s Edge, Alumni Ventures, and Adage Capital. Strategic Development Fund, the investment arm of United Arab Emirates’ Tawazun Holding, also contributed.

The D-1 funding round follows on from a $145 million Series D the company closed in November 2021. HawkEye has now raised around $360 million to date. The company is based in Virginia, where it operates a 19,000-square-foot development and satellite manufacturing facility.