Many entrepreneurs from the digital ecosystem of Barcelona have emerged from the UPC classrooms. Elisenda Bou-Balust, from Vilynx; Enric Asunción and Eduard Castañeda from Wallbox or Jordi Romero and Bernat Farrero, from Factorial, are some of the best-known examples.
This year, the career of aeronautical engineers Rafel Jordà, Aleix Megías and Jordi Barrera, promoters of the Open Cosmos startup, is also emerging. The company is dedicated to the design, manufacture and maintenance of space satellites and its projects include Menut and Enxaneta, financed by the Generalitat.
“We started 2015 with the idea of leading the transformation of the industry towards small and light satellites, in contrast to the large and heavy ones that historically existed. Our satellites are the size of a microwave and are deployed once they are in orbit. In the industry, they represent a step forward because they are also less expensive. Now they are within the reach of companies and not just governments, ”explains CEO Rafel Jordà, who left his job at Airbus to launch the business.
The startup located its headquarters in the United Kingdom for commercial reasons. “The first projects arose there and we were able to attract investors. At the beginning, we raised 7 million dollars from BGF Ventures, Local Globe and Entrepreneur First, among other investors”, recalls the Mallorcan entrepreneur, who retains the majority of the capital along with the other managers.
In any case, the firm has maintained a link with Barcelona from the beginning. “In parallel, we opened a center in the city that today employs 15 people out of the 65 we employ in total. We have partnered with the local firm GPA Innova and we will invest 10 million over the next 3 years. We are going to double the workforce in the city to increase our productive capacity”.
The company works for institutions such as the Generalitat or the European Space Agency and also companies in the telecommunications, energy, infrastructure and agricultural sectors. "Our satellites allow us to take images, work as GPS, manage magnetic fields... And we also have divisions dedicated to data analysis and coordination of satellites from different companies," explains the founder.
Business figures are growing. Jordà assures that this year, Open Cosmos has won contracts valued at 35 million, compared to 14 million the previous year. As payments are made deferred, net billing will be 10 million this year, compared to 4 million in 2021.