As we begin the new year, I wanted to reflect on our 2017 milestones and our vector going into 2018. Last year was definitely an exciting year at Planet. The five highlights from my perspective were:
- Launching 146 satellites, including the record-breaking 88 Doves on a single rocket & 6 more SkySats, doubling our high resolution capacity. This led to achieving our company’s founding mission of imaging the entire Earth’s landmass every day (as well as the largest satellite constellation of any kind in human history!).
- Acquiring Terra Bella, as part of a strategic partnership with Google, making the search giant a customer and shareholder.
- Releasing Planet Explorer, an online portal where users can easily access daily Planet data (as well as other satellite imagery such as Landsat and Sentinel).
- Welcoming Shawna Wolverton as our first Chief Product Officer.
- Finally, I’m excited to say that we achieved our aggressive 2017 sales targets. We doubled our 2016 sales as we brought on big customers in precision agriculture (our largest sector), government, and consumer mapping. We also did our first deals in insurance, finance, and energy infrastructure.
As we start the year, we’ll also see Tom Barton moving on, leaving the company at the end of January to pursue new career opportunities. Tom has served as our Chief Operating Officer for the past three years, and his leadership has been invaluable to Planet. He led the expansion of our executive team, operationalised the company, helped scale revenue, and much more. Thank you and good luck, Tom!
In 2018, we’ve again set ourselves ambitious goals. We’ll launch more satellites, the first of which went up this month on two launches, including: four tech demo satellites and a single Dove satellite on board Rocket Lab’s first successful Electron rocket. We’ll also launch two more high resolution SkySats and another batch of Doves on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
This year, we’ll build out our sales team internationally, grow our revenue, and pursue penetration into new markets. And with Shawna’s guidance, we’ll deliver on a robust product roadmap that uses analytics to turn geospatial data into customer solutions that move top and bottom lines.
The team at Planet is launching into 2018 with more momentum than ever and we can’t wait to share our success with our customers and partners. Stay tuned!