GHGSat is Delivering Climate Solutions

The Space Capital Podcast


September 25, 2023

In episode 2.17, we're speaking with Stephane Germain, the co-founder and CEO of GHGSat. GHGSat launched several new satellites and products, and has firmly established the company as the global leader in greenhouse gas emissions monitoring.

In this seventeenth episode of the second season of the Space Capital Podcast and we're speaking with Stephane Germain, he's the co-founder and CEO of GHGSat. Stephane. Space Capital first invested in GHGSat back in 2018, and was featured on the podcast in 2020. Since then, GHGSat launched several new satellites and products, and has firmly established the company as the global leader in greenhouse gas emissions monitoring.


Show notes

Episode Transcript




GHGSat is Delivering Climate Solutions

We started the company on the premise that we wanted to help industrial operators and governments better understand the emissions that they are responsible for. So, they could in turn control them and reduce them. And that is exactly the mission we've been executing on over the last few years.

Welcome to the Space Capital Podcast. I'm your host, Chad Anderson, founder and managing partner at Space Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm investing in the space economy. We're actively investing out of our third fund with a hundred million under management. You can find us on social media at Space Capital. In this podcast, we explore what's happening at the cutting edge of the entrepreneurial space age and speak to the founders and innovators at the forefront.

Chad Anderson:

This is the Space Capital Podcast, and today we're speaking with Stephane Germain, he's the co-founder and CEO of GHGSat. Stephane, it's great to have you back with us. Thanks for joining.

Stephane Germain:

Thanks, Chad. It's great to be here.

Chad Anderson:

Okay, so, we first invested in GHGSat back in 2018, and then we had you on the podcast in 2020, was right in the middle of COVID just before the runup in the financial markets.

Chad Anderson:

Since then, you've raised a bunch of money. You've launched several new satellites and products, and you have firmly established yourself and your company as the global leader in greenhouse gas emissions monitoring.

I mean, it's not just scientists warning about something that is coming, you just have to look out the window to see the forest fires and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. You've got flooding in Southern California. Here in New York, the sky was orange for a couple of weeks, looked like something out a blade runner because of the wildfires in Canada, obviously the tragic fire in Maui. We have more and more super rare events like giant hail fire, tornadoes, and that kind of thing.

So, in addition to the massive human and environmental costs, there is a huge amount of intrinsic risk to enterprises and industrial operations. So, it seems like there's a lot of monetary value to better managing these climate related risks as well. So, kind of thinking about all of that and how that's changed so dramatically even in just a few years, what tools do we have at our disposal to understand and address these massive challenges?

Stephane Germain:

Okay, well that's a simple question. Well, we started the company on the premise that we wanted to help industrial operators and governments better understand the emissions that they are responsible for. So, they could in turn control them and reduce them. And that is exactly the mission we've been executing on over the last few years. I mean, you say we last spoke in 2020, that seems like a lifetime ago on many levels I think for everybody.

But since then, we've just had an amazing deployment of our services to our customers. A deployment of capacity in terms of our technology, an acceleration of our go-to market strategy in general, deployment of version of the data that's collected by our sensors into just useful intelligence that could be used by our customers to reduce their emissions on a daily basis. And fundamentally at the end of the day, getting to an impact.

And just in the last two years, I just put this number together yesterday, we helped our customers mitigate over 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. And that's like taking about 1.2 million cars off the road for a year.

And that number is accelerating every quarter as we launch more satellites.  As we work with more customers, we're helping them really tackle the emissions, really mitigate the emissions that are driving some of the factors and some of the climate events that you described earlier in the podcast. So, it's a huge challenge, I mean, at the world. I mean, we're just one small part of all of this, but we're really trying to make a big contribution to the fight against climate change.

Chad Anderson:

And how are you doing that? I mean, what is the problem that you're solving? It seems like there is obviously a huge gap between self-reported emissions and actual observation. I mean, that seems like a pretty great place to start, that we need more and better data and you're helping with that.

Stephane Germain:

That's right. So, the world just five years ago was predominantly relying on estimated numbers for emissions. And typically, the lag in those estimates was one, two years. That is now turning on its head as measurements become available worldwide from us and from other companies as well. But we're the only ones doing it in space right now. And that data, that insight available almost instantly about where emissions are, how big they are, then allows operators to directly understand where in their operations they've got something they need to fix and how urgent it is.

And it helps governments understand whether their policies are working or not based on the aggregated emissions from the different companies within their jurisdictions. So, all of that data, making that tool available as a direct measurement of actual emissions, not just estimates, is making a big difference now. It's allowing everybody involved in the fighting against climate change to work on the real problem.

We found, without getting into too much detail, we found that the difference between what was estimated and what is actual measurement, typically, if you look at oil and gas as one sector is somewhere between a factor of one and a half to two times different. So, the actual emissions are typically one and a half to two times higher than the estimated emissions that have been previously reported.

And the second key point is that the distribution of those emissions is also very different, meaning that whereas people might have focused on pumps or specific types of equipment that need to be replaced, because that's what the estimates said before, are now realizing that the venting, the leaks, for example, wind up being perhaps more important and a better place to deploy scarce capital in order to have a greater impact in the short term on emissions. So, all of that data, real measured data from sensors and space is making a huge difference today.

Chad Anderson:

Okay. So, your name is GHGSat for greenhouse gases. But you have a particular focus on methane. Why is that?

Stephane Germain:

Well, we actually can measure several different types of gases. We made a very specific decision around about the time when Space Capital came to invest in GHGSat. We made a very specific decision to focus on methane because that was the greatest short-term commercial opportunity. And as a for-profit business, of course, we need to go where the demand is and where the need is.

So, methane is about 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short-term as a climate force or as impact on climate change. And what that means is for every ton of methane that's emitted in the atmosphere, it's as if there were 86 tons of carbon dioxide emitted. And the other thing about methane is most of it is fugitive, meaning that you don't necessarily know where or when it's going to be emitted. So, it's kind of trying to find that needle in a haystack over a large geographic area. And again, satellites are really good for that.

So, that beachhead became the obvious place for us to start. And there were several industries that really needed to get on top of their methane challenges in the short-term, which meant that there would be some clear revenue sources. And that's why we started with methane.However, we are about to launch our first dedicated carbon dioxide satellite because there's still an awful lot of carbon dioxide out there, and there is a business case for carbon dioxide as well. It just, in our business planning needed to come after methane.

Chad Anderson:

Okay. So, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions is obviously critical to understanding and mitigating the effects of our changing climate. And satellites are providing a clearer picture. And you are the only company, you've pioneered this approach of being able to do facility level monitoring. No one else can do this.

And people are starting to recognize and pay attention. A couple weeks ago you were at the White House for the first ever Methane Summit, so it sounds like you're going to be helping the Biden-Harris administration work with industry to meet their climate goals. What can you tell us about that? What happened behind those closed doors?

Stephane Germain:

Well, probably some of it needs to stay behind closed doors, but in general, I think I can say that there is a wide interest, not just in the current administration. I think there's a wide interest in industry and in political circles for understanding and finding the technology to mitigate emissions.

And that's really what was going on there. I mean, there was an interest from multiple government departments that are following technologies related to monitoring of greenhouse gases, and they were very interested in finding out the latest, and that's really all we are doing.

We were talking about the state of the art of technologies related to methane mitigation and methane monitoring. And it wasn't just us, of course, it was a combination of satellite air ground technologies that were all being presented and explained to key decision makers, not just at the White House, but also as I said, in other government departments. So, it was a fantastic opportunity really for the Biden-Harris administration to show leadership across all government departments and encourage all the departments to now use these technologies that are available today to really make a difference in their individual mandates.

Chad Anderson:

And was it also beneficial for GHGSat and the other participants involved to see what else is going on out there and to meet each other and were there opportunities to collaborate on things and sort of bring different technologies together?

Stephane Germain:

Well, that's one fascinating thing about monitoring methane and greenhouse gases in general is that actually we all have to work together. There is a tiered approach of using different technologies at different scales. So, satellite, air, ground, and other ways of monitoring gases.

You want to use each of these different scales, each of these different technologies in a way that compliments each other. And that tiered approach of using those different levels actually winds up being the most cost-efficient way for many companies to deploy monitoring across all of their facilities.

And the same actually applies to governments as well. You really do want to use all of them. So, there's a strong incentive to collaborate. And I think that's part of what was going on at this conference as well. It was meant for decision makers to not only see what's out there and what the state of the art is, but also to understand how important that complementarity is.

Chad Anderson:

And then, so you are a Canadian company. You're based in Montreal, and you're doing a lot of really great work there. We just talked about the White House, but it's not just here in the U.S. and in Canada. You're also helping governments around the world meet their ambitious climate goals.

I'm on the board of the Satellite Applications Catapult. It's an innovation center in the UK focused on growing the space sector in the country there. So, I was really happy to see that earlier this summer you announced your partnership with them to provide satellite data on domestic and international methane emissions for R&D in the UK. What can you tell us about that?

Stephane Germain:

Well, we are really pleased to announce a large contract with the UK government, that is being administered by the Satellite Applications Catapult in the UK in late May. And that was a culmination of a multi-year effort both within the UK government and UK industry and UK science circles and us to give access to a whole lot of GHGSat data to many potential partners in the UK to develop downstream applications based on our data. So, we can't give away our data for free. I mean, we're a for-profit business that will sell our data to anybody, but we have to sell it. And that means that, sometimes it can be a little hard to kickstart some of these relationships.

So, having a UK government come along and say, "Hey, we'll buy that data, make it available to all of these parties in the UK that want to use this data to develop downstream applications and combine it with other data sources to provide better services to the financial services community, to steel makers, aluminum makers, to government policy makers," is a great way to grow the industry within the UK, create jobs within the UK and also just raise awareness of the high quality data that's available from us.

And ultimately, we'll be coming also from others around the world. So, that's a fantastic opportunity in the UK and we're working really hard to replicate that in other parts of the world as well. So, we clearly have the attention of the U.S. government, the Canadian government, the European Space Agency and European Union, the UK and even in Australia.

So, we're really pleased with the international deployment, and the international attention being paid to what satellite technology can do to the fight against climate change. And I know that already we're dealing with a number of other governments that want to deploy the same sort of technology development and downstream application development concepts that we explored in the UK.

Chad Anderson:

Yeah, it's great. I mean, we've heard a lot of these governments that you mentioned and others, at these high level events, G7 summits and what have you, come out and make really bold claims. And make pledges with regards to climate action. And up until this point it's sort of like you've got these really big problems, how are we going to address these? So, it's really great to see that GHGSat is involved in those conversations and actually providing the tools to allow them to meet those climate goals. That's really great.

Stephane Germain:

Yeah, we've been very fortunate to have gotten a really receptive audience pretty much everywhere we go, when we show people the kind of data that we have, it's really compelling to see, here's an emission from your jurisdiction, here's an emission from your company, how can we work with you to mitigate that? And there's nothing like an image. There's nothing like a near real time image to capture people's attention.

Chad Anderson:

I'm sure. It's okay. I want to talk a little bit about your product and your solution. I mean, your offering is made up of a few key pieces, and I'd like to walk through each of those. So first, it's really supplying data for global emissions monitoring. Last time we talked on the podcast, you had one demo satellite with another one that's on the way, and you outlined an aggressive plan to have a constellation of 10 satellites by the end of 2022. So, you now have nine satellites on orbit. So, pretty much right on schedule, which is pretty rare in space hardware.

So, congratulations on that. And all nine were built by the University of Toronto's Space Flight Lab. And equally impressive, on the timing is that your satellites work. It's a real concern. I mean, we've seen a lot of small, nascent companies go out and raise capital with the promise that, look Planet Labs launched an iPhone and it worked. And so, how hard can it be?

And we're starting to see a lot of those satellites get launched, and if they make it too orbit, then they don't always work. And so, it's really great to see folks like yourselves who have a big ambitious mission and then actually are able to execute. So, that's been really great to see.

So, you got nine satellites on orbit. And you expect the addition of three more sensors, to join later this year, right? And so, these are going to be-

Stephane Germain:

That's right.

Chad Anderson:

Built by Spire. And Spire is also building your next four satellites. So, seven in total and Spire is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They're down 94% since going public. So, I guess the question is why work with them?

Stephane Germain:

Alright, well, let's back up a bit because you covered a lot of ground there. So, the last time we spoke, you're right, all we had was our demonstration satellite in orbit, and we'd proven that the technology worked. But we knew that we had to make significant performance improvements, and we knew how to do that, but we had to execute on it. And that's exactly what we did. We launched two more satellites. So, one right at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, well, actually it was supposed to go in March 2020. It was delayed to August 2020 because of the pandemic.

And it nailed it. We went from a demo satellite that did pretty well, but not quite well enough to the second one just proving that we really had a handle on exactly the specs we promised to our customers. Then we built one more that went in early 2021 also during the pandemic. That was, again, to prove with a slightly different twist that we could nail it again and maybe even do it a little better.

And then the next ones were about proving that we could do it in batches, so not just one at a time, but we could do it reliably and consistently. And that's exactly what we did with two more batches of satellites. So, that's what got us to the total of nine that are in orbit right now. And as you pointed out, thank you, it's exactly per our business plan, that's what we said we'd do, and that's what we executed on.

So, now why the switch in business model? So, first of all, I want to emphasize that the satellites built at the University of Toronto are superb. We're very, very pleased with the performance of those satellites. And some of you might have noticed a press release around World Satellite Business Week that was just a few weeks ago that will speak to the performance that we have been able to really eke out of those satellites.

Chad Anderson:

I want to chime in here too. It's not just you saying this. I mean, you can go out and look, people who know, know that these are exquisite instruments.

Stephane Germain:

Absolutely. Now, the issue is for us, two things. One is we need to scale. And at the end of the day, the Space Flight Lab is a university lab, and they've got finite resources. And the second thing is that others are offering financing terms that again, a university environment can't offer. So, for those two main reasons, and maybe one other reason on top of that, which is ultimately our business is about the data. It's not about flying funds-based stuff. We want to outsource as much of the funds-based stuff as possible and focus on the data.

So, the instruments and what's coming down from the satellites. And all of that, those business considerations, the business focus considerations made us look for a satellite services provider. And that's exactly what Spire offers.

Stephane Germain:

So, Spire now is about to launch our next three satellites. They should be up on Transporter-9, and let's just say that'll be before the end of the year. And with those, we'll move to sort of a next generation of approach in business. It's the same sensors, by the way, same sensors as we have on these University of Toronto satellites. But now they are going to be on a Spire bus.

So, it'll be really, really interesting to see if we can get the same performance out of those satellites. And obviously, we put a lot of faith in Spire here by not only ordering the initial batch of three, but a subsequent batch of four, so a total of seven from Spire. And we intend to buy a whole lot more. So, we are going to wait and see how these do, we're going to give ourselves about a year, and then we'll see whether we keep going down that path.

But I can assure you going forward, the business model for us is much more about the data and the delivery of that data to our customers than it is about building satellites. So, we prefer to leave that to others. It's a core competitive differentiator for us to have control of our own satellite infrastructure and data. But we don't necessarily need to operate it ourselves or build it ourselves. And that's a really important point for us.

Chad Anderson:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, let's talk about the data. So, the last time that we had you on the show, you were just about to launch your new SPECTRA product. This is emissions intelligence platform software. And earlier this year, SPECTRA won the first company's World Changing Ideas Award for Climate. So, what can you tell us about the software stack?

Stephane Germain:

Alright, so the data is just one part of what we do. The next part is translating that data into useful information for our customers. SPECTRA is the platform by which we deliver our data to customers and start demonstrating the intelligence that you can derive from that data. When I say start, it's because there's actually many layers to SPECTRA. You can just have the raw data demonstrated and/or use it as a way to click and download the data that's been sold to you.

But you can do so much more than that by now layering on third-party data sets that we also process from other satellites that are publicly available. By layering on geographic information about what kind of facilities are in the area, and whether there's hospitals or schools in the area, layering on customer's own infrastructure, which they can import into SPECTRA as well.

Stephane Germain:

And so, all these things allow them to better coordinate the data we're providing with the reality of their business on the ground to make faster business decisions about what they do with leak alerts, for example. Do they prioritize this one or that one on any given day?

So, SPECTRA is one more step because really, it's just a platform for delivering the data and starting to provide that emissions intelligence. It also provides then APIs so that companies can then pull that data directly in machine to machine into their own systems, connect them into their ERPs, connect them into their maintenance systems, and again, make better informed decisions, maybe layering on not just availability of teams. But perhaps budgeting plans, accounting, requirements, resource availability in order to make final decisions about where they deploy their resources to mitigate their emissions.

So, that's where we're heading. SPECTRA is the beginning of that. We're really excited about that downstream portion because we're convinced that that's going to be a large part of where the value is going to be for our customers.

Chad Anderson:

Oh, and I'm sure you're right about that. And I want to pull on that thread a little bit more too. So, you've got the data, you've got the hardware, the satellites that are in orbit, the infrastructure piece. You've got SPECTRA, which is your software platform that is distributing this data out, allowing customers to access this data through APIs or other means. And then you are offering analytics on top of this. So, can you tell us a little bit about how you're leveraging AI to process and analyze these massive data sets for actionable insights?

Stephane Germain:

Sure. And it's a huge challenge to apply AI to the kind of data sets we have. And probably for any satellite data set, it's a challenge. In our case, what we do is we train the algorithms to parse through terabytes of data, to look for patterns of concentrations that relate or suggest the presence of a plume. So, suggest the presence of a leak or an emission of methane or carbon dioxide.

And just doing that is a huge challenge because if you think about it, a plume is like a wisp of smoke, it's a wiggly squiggly thing that changes every second and is never the same depending on the background, whether it's desert or city, whether there's wind, whether the wind is constant or shifting, depending on the sunlight, the direction of sunlight, whether there's a shadow or not.

So, it's excruciatingly complex to train algorithms to do that. And that's what we believe we now have a world leading AI capability in automatically detecting and processing the plumes that come from the crush of data that comes from our satellites every day. And that's the beginning of it.

Stephane Germain:

The next part of it then … because that's — it's never easy. There's several steps to this. The next part is then, estimating what the total emission rate at the source must have been from the pattern that you're seeing on the ground or in the atmosphere above the site at any given time.

And that also requires some pretty sophisticated algorithms, although those are better known and widely circulated amongst academic circles involved in what we do. And then all of that then needs to be related back to individual facilities and owners and reconciled with their own data internally about what they know about those facilities.

So, there's just many, many steps involved, and we're making great progress. And there's, again, huge opportunity for the downstream part of the analytics going forward.

Chad Anderson:

Yeah, I mean, it's certainly a lot of data to work through. I read on your website that you can offer 2 million site measurements annually, revisiting facilities every one to two days globally. I mean, just think about the compounding-

Stephane Germain:

That's a lot.

Chad Anderson:

Of that kind of data. Yep, okay. So, that was great. And the question always is who's going to pay for this? So, you'd think that your customers would really be sort of the enforcers, the regulators, the government agencies, scientists, that sort of thing. But actually, most of your business is with industry. Oil and gas, like we talked about, mining, that sort of thing. Why is that?

Stephane Germain:

Well, first of all, I want to emphasize, we sell our data to anybody. So, we'll sell to governments, we'll sell to operators, we'll sell to financial services, we'll sell to anybody who has an interest in understanding where the emissions are, how big they are, and how they're changing.

But yes, you're right that the majority of our sales in the past have absolutely been to the industrial operators themselves. And the reason for that is because most of them know and acknowledge and want to deal with, A, the challenge that they have with emissions.

And whether it's because there's investor pressure for them to do so, whether there's any customer pressure for them to do so, whether there's actually economic value for them to do so, there's lots of reasons why they would do this. And so, we help them understand and find those sources so they can fix them.

So, there's a real business case here for those operators to buy our data so they can address that challenge. And I think that was surprising to people 12 years ago when we started the company. It was probably still a little surprising to you when you invested it in 2018, and maybe not entirely sure if it would work out.

I can assure you it's absolutely worked out. Our revenue has grown eightfold just in the last two years. So, since we closed our series B and until now, we have 8X increased our revenues. And that's to me, a testament to the fact that there's absolutely no doubt that the demand is there. And by the way, that growth is fully expected to continue going forward.

Chad Anderson:

And you have other channel partners and distribution partners that you're selling through as well. I mean, you've got, we already talked about the Satellite Applications Catapult helping you to sell into governments in the UK. You’ve got industry here that we talked about.

Last time we talked, you had just started selling through Bloomberg terminals as well. So, giving people access to data that way. And I see that you are now selling your data to NASA. NASA has reached out and asked you to task some satellites to see what type of data that you can provide to help them achieve their earth science goals.

Stephane Germain:

That's right. So, we are working really hard to continue to grow our partner network. We don't need to sell directly to everybody. In fact, that doesn't make sense in many parts of the world because we'll never be in every time zone and know every language and know every regulation in every country.

So, we absolutely want to work with partners. And so, you named some of the really interesting ones. We've been very fortunate to partner with over the last few years. The European Space Agency is another one, where they have been purchasing our data to distribute to scientists, not just in Europe, but actually around the world.

We have also been partnering with the UN, with the International Methane Emissions Observatory. We've been partnering with commercial distributors. So, companies that already work with earth observation data and distributed within their own countries, like in South Korea, for example, Argentina's another example. So, there's many different partnerships that we have, and certainly we want to multiply those in the near term.

Chad Anderson:

Okay. So, another macro change since we last had you on the show, 2020, there was a financial runup in 2021 and a subsequent decline in 2022. And we're still sort of feeling the effects of that now, in this market dislocation.

And so, one of the key talking points in the early part of the downturn was that investment into climate solutions remained really strong. So, you've just closed a funding round. How has the current market affected your business?

Stephane Germain:

So, we've been very fortunate to have the support of existing and new investors in this latest funding round that we just announced. And I think it is proof that there's still a strong appetite for climate solutions using technology that can really make a difference like ours.

And it was a very difficult environment to raise funding. And I certainly have to acknowledge that. Every fundraise has its unique characteristics, but this one was definitely an adventure, given the downturn in the markets, the lack of appetite for technology through the late 2022 timeframe.

But nevertheless, there's still a strong appetite for climate technologies and that's exactly what we demonstrated. So, we're not seeing, and maybe this is critical to the raise, I'm sure it was critical to the raise. We're not seeing a downturn in our end markets.

In fact, like I just mentioned, we've seen an eight times increase in our revenues just in the last two years. So, that fundamental demand and growth in our core markets undoubtedly was a very important part of the investment decisions that were made by our existing and new investors.

So, I'm very glad to have that ran behind us. It's going to provide us funding with which to get to our next level of growth. We're really excited to be announcing several new business and technology innovations here in the next few months. So, I'm not going to give all that away just yet. I'll tease people with that. Stay tuned. But certainly, we're very excited for the next few months and years coming forward.

Chad Anderson:

Super exciting. So, I mean, look, in this market, investors are certainly prioritizing fundamentals of the business and revenue. And so, I'm sure that that 8X revenue has had to have helped.

We talked through your product and your different offerings, what is driving that growth in revenue between those different product lines. Are people buying data direct? Are people more buying access through SPECTRA or is it really coming in the form of these API integrations analytics on top of that? Where are you seeing the revenue growth really come from?

Stephane Germain:

So, our business model was primarily about the data until just about a year ago. So, we launched SPECTRA at the COP 27 Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in November of 2022. And in the week that we announced SPECTRA, we had a thousand subscribers sign up, which was a great start.

We now have many times that number of users on SPECTRA. And we're very enthusiastic that SPECTRA is going to be a different channel for growth for us. And frankly, another revenue model for us, a much more of a SaaS type of business model to complement our existing direct data sales to large customers.

So, we continue to grow our offering in different ways. So, as we pointed out data and then the analytics and the emissions intelligence based on that and getting into more and more adjacencies. So, we talked a bit about reporting and how important that is for some customers. Stay tuned for some thoughts on that.

We've talked a lot about downstream, value add that's required to translate data into useful actionable information for customers. Stay tuned on that. These are all areas that we're very excited in developing going forward.

Chad Anderson:

Okay. So, also the last time that we spoke, you were already the only organization capable of facility level monitoring of emissions, and you had a five-year head start. You executed on your plan to get your satellites up despite COVID and everything else, that was thrown at you.

So, I guess, fast forward to today, how has the competitive landscape changed? Are there new players? Is there more competition in this space? Is there more data and different players and companies for you to collaborate with? How are you thinking about the competitive landscape today and how GHGSat fits within it?

Stephane Germain:

Well, it's actually really exciting. There's a lot going on. So, let's talk about satellites first, because really have to separate this into what’s satellite and then what's air and ground. On the satellite side of things, we have quite a variety of other satellite systems that have been announced. What makes it exciting for me as opposed to getting me worried is that most of those are actually complimentary. So, there is a satellite that is expected to be launched by the Environmental Defense Fund called MethaneSAT that will be complimentary to what we do.

They will measure meth methane emissions on a different scale and in a different way than we do. And actually, we'll be able to work very well with them to help each other in better understanding emissions over different regions around the world. There's another mission or a couple of other missions that are going to be closer to direct competitors to us. But my view on those is that actually we need all the capacity of all those satellites to offer the best possible intelligence to end customers.

And so, my view of those is I'll actually want to partner with them to get access to their data and resell their data so that we can offer those better solutions to our customers. Assuming, of course, the data it winds up being of the quality that is promised.

Stephane Germain:

And then finally there are other satellites out there that have some sensitivity to methane. So, you see some more generic hyperspectral emissions that are designed for a whole bunch of other things, not just measuring methane that will be able to detect methane with some sort of performance that remains to be proven.

So, those I'll keep an eye out on. I'm not at this point worried. Again, I see those as complimentary sets of data that if we can come to a business relationship with those providers, I think there'll be mutual benefit to both of us, and more importantly, benefit to our end customers at combining those data sets. On the air and grounds, if I just change gears briefly, there's a whole bunch of other technologies out there. And as I said earlier, we actually operate best when we collaborate in a tiered solution.

So, while there's a lot of noise, part of what we bring to our customers is demystifying that by explaining how the various technologies can work together and showing where there's a particular niche that satellites can be particularly useful to them.

So, I'm really excited by the variety of solutions that are out there. I think they're just going to help grow the market as people realize how useful measured data can be as opposed to estimated information. And I'm really optimistic for this market going forward.

Chad Anderson:

Yeah, I mean, and we say that all the time is that satellites are a very important part of the solution, but they're normally a part of the solution. I mean, we've kind of hinted at it a couple of times, but you've got these satellites, public sources and MethaneSAT and others that have this very larger swath where they're looking at the whole globe on a pretty regular basis.

And that's basically identifying areas of interest for then you to come in with your facility level monitoring and check them out even closer. And then if you see something of real interest, you can actually fly your aircraft in with higher resolution sensors and get a really close look. And so, it's like when all-

Stephane Germain:

That's exactly right.

Chad Anderson:

Yeah, when it all fits together, that's when you start to get the full solution that answers the questions that your customers have, right?

Stephane Germain:

Yeah. And I think part of the trick is to make all that detail transparent to the customer. At the end of the day, they don't really care where the data came from as long as the data's high quality, and it's what they need in order to fix their problem, serve their need.

So, that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to abstract all that from them. We're not trying to hide it from them. We're being completely transparent about where it came from and all the science behind it, so they can be fully confident that the data is real and high quality.

But ultimately, they want it just translated into what they need to solve their problem. And that that's exactly what we're doing.

Chad Anderson:

Cool. So, I was going to ask you what's next for GHGSat? It sounds like you got a few things coming up that you're going to stay tight lipped about for now. Is there anything that you can tell us about what you are looking forward to?

Stephane Germain:

Well, so first I'm very much looking forward to the next three satellites being launched. These will be our first satellites ... actually it's our payloads on Spire satellites, not to be too picky. And that for us will a really important milestone as we test out this new approach to outsourcing, sort of what we consider to be non-core function. So, I'm really looking forward to that. So, stay tuned for launch on Transporter-9 in the next month or so.

The other part then is going to be ongoing announcements related to our technology related to key customers, related to new products that we're going to be announcing towards the end of the year. So, there's a lot to be excited about here with GHGSat in the next few months.

We just raised a round of funding to make all of that happen so you can be sure we're going to be rolling out better commercialization, better products, more capacity, better AI, all of that's happening here within the next few months. So, I'm really, really excited for the months to come.

Chad Anderson:

Sounds great. And so, how can listeners follow along with all this?

Stephane Germain:

Well, obviously the easiest place to come is, so please keep an eye on us there. Follow us on LinkedIn or on X, we are active on both platforms. Or just reach out directly if you're interested in our services, we'd be more than happy to tell you about what we do and hopefully find solutions for your needs in terms of methane or greenhouse gas monitoring in general.

Chad Anderson:

Stephane, this was great. Thanks for coming on the show.

Stephane Germain:

Thanks, Chad.

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