Investing in Lunar Data Storage and Security
We are incredibly excited to announce our partnership with Chris Stott, Mark Matossian, Carol Goldstein, Del Smith, and the team at Lonestar, a stealth company breaking new ground in fusing the Cloud and Space verticals. For Lonestar, breaking new lunar regolith may be more apt. We believe that expanding the world’s economy to encompass the Moon is the next whitespace in the New Space Economy, and that data security and storage will be a necessary part of leading the new generation of lunar exploration. Enter Lonestar.
We first met Chris through our military service academy network. Retired astronaut and International Space Station Commander, Tim Kopra, served aboard Expedition 20 with Chris’ wife, Nicole Stott. Tim knew Chris as a successful space entrepreneur ready to get started on a new endeavour after two decades of profitably running his first space company, ManSat, with consistent returns for its investors. Once we met Chris , it was clear that nobody knew the space industry better. His vision was inspiring from the start, and his past experience working with Carol, Mark, and Del only made the deal more attractive.
Data processing in space is not an entirely new concept, but most companies are working on using satellites as the data storage facility. Lonestar is taking a different approach by leveraging the many benefits of the surface on Earth’s largest satellite, while avoiding the drawbacks of low Earth orbit.
We see limitless potential in space as an investment vertical for several reasons. First, the market is on pace to be a trillion dollar industry by 2040 as barriers to entry for commercial participants continue to lower. Second, the U.S. Government is still the single largest user of space, and with that comes a commitment to funding research and development for how data is captured, moved, and stored in CIS Lunar space. The same is true for other sovereign nations determined to have a presence on the Moon this century. At Scout, we specialize in helping our portfolio companies achieve a 3:1 ratio of non-dilutive capital, so we don’t worry as much about expenditures that you might expect with a traditional space company.
The more we looked at the terrestrial data center market, the more we liked the idea of an alternative solution. While underwater data centers and DNA sequencing have been proposed, those solutions are for different use cases than Lonestar is striving to capture, and in some ways could be complimentary. Lonestar wants to own data on the Moon. That clicked for our investment team.
Since we led the Seed round, the team has been grinding away in stealth, securing key partnerships to prepare for the Artemis program beginning in 2024. Exploring the lunar surface is not going to be a solo act. Chris’ deep space network experience and ability to strike favorable partnerships for Lonestar has already been in full swing. Lonestar is set to begin testing with the ISS this winter, in partnership with Made in Space, Canonical, The Space For Art Foundation, Artificial Mind, and the Mind Future Foundation. They are also planning a lunar data test with Intuitive Machines for early 2022.
As part of our Seed investment, Brad Harrison joined the Board. We plan to take an active role in helping shape the company, from building out the technical team to securing non-dilutive government funding. Lonestar is growing its team across several positions. Those interested should reach out.