exactEarth Ltd., a leading provider of Satellite-AIS data services announces that the Government of Canada (“GoC”) will make an investment of $7.2 million over three-years to support the development, management and expansion of exactView RT, the Company’s real-time Satellite-AIS service. The investment is being made through the GoC’s Strategic Innovation Fund (“SIF”), a program designed to support businesses across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.
exactView RT consists of a system of more than 60 maritime satellite payloads hosted onboard the Iridium NEXT constellation. exactView RT is the world’s only Satellite-AIS service that can provide real-time capabilities for vessel updates and alerts, and is a platform for enhancing maritime safety, navigation and environmental impact.
“I want to thank the Government of Canada and the ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, for the opportunity to participate in the SIF program,” said Peter Mabson, CEO of exactEarth. “This funding will offset planned development costs over the next three years in support of ongoing efforts to further improve and enhance the exactView RT platform with the introduction of new real-time data services, analytics and applications. These developments are expected to drive revenue growth and maintain our global leadership in vessel tracking and related maritime analytics. exactView RT will assist both public sector and private sector participants in the global shipping industry in a number of ways, which include homeland security, search and rescue and optimized ship routing, which in turn helps to reduce fossil fuel consumption and minimize the impact of shipping on marine life and the broader environment.”
“All Canadians should be proud of our country’s long-standing leadership in space technology,” said Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South — Hespeler. “exactEarth’s project highlights Canadian know-how in this highly specialized domain, and shows how small and medium-sized companies drive innovation. I am pleased that this once again confirms Waterloo Region’s status as a leading community for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The funding is a repayable contribution that will be disbursed in quarterly installments on a cost-reimbursement basis over a three-year period with an effective start date of February 13, 2018. exactEarth expects, subject to project timelines and applied resources, to claim a reimbursement of approximately $3.0 million in the first year of the funding, and approximately $2.2 million and $2.0 million in the second and third years of funding, respectively. The funding will be repaid by exactEarth in annual installments over a 15-year period beginning in 2023 with the actual repayment value dependant on several factors, including overall business performance. This agreement also contains terms which are typical of this type of funding agreement related to work scope, employment levels, retention of IP in Canada, and change of control.
exactEarth’s Board of Directors, through it previously disclosed special committee, continues to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value, including an additional financing, a sale of assets, a sale of the Company or a merger or other business combination or other strategic transactions that may be available to the Company.