"The space industry is positioned to significantly impact the course of humanity.
It has the potential to address the environmental issues plaguing our planet,
including our oceans and atmosphere. Satellites play an indispensable role in this mission,
and companies like GomSpace, and many other Danish tech firms,
are making commendable strides in this direction."
British Billionaire's GomSpace Investment
Peter Hargreaves, GomSpace's primary stakeholder, is pictured at Goonhilly, another venture he fervently supports, specializing in ground stations for deep space satellite communications.
It is no ordinary British millionaire who has recently become the predominant shareholder of GomSpace, holding now 29.9 percent. This ownership is a major factor in the nanosatellite developer's recovery from its recent financial setbacks. At Hargreaves' behest, GomSpace has seen strategic redirection, rights issue, crucial cost-reductions, restructuring, and a change of CEO at the Aalborg-based tech division.
Hargreaves did not make a casually decide to invest in GomSpace through the Stockholm Stock Exchange from his Bristol residence. The investment, totalling approximately SEK 160 million from two contributions since March 2022, embodies the analytical and forward-thinking acumen. This acumen elevated Peter Kendal Hargreaves from relative obscurity to ranking 94th among the UK's wealthiest, per the Sunday Times 2023 list, and 1294th worldwide, as listed by Forbes. As a baker's son, the "future billionaire" title, now boasting a multibillion fortune in Danish kroner, was not a given during Hargreaves' early days.
At 77, Peter Hargreaves has donned various hats, including that of a computer salesman, a beer merchant, and a certified KPMG chartered accountant. His claim to fame was the establishment of one of England's premier financial platforms, "Hargreaves Lansdown", co-founded with Stephen Lansdown right from his bedroom. The company, which went public in 2007, saw Hargreaves at its helm until 2010.
Throughout his illustrious career, Hargreaves was honoured as the "Commander of the British Empire" for his business feats. Though he has since stepped down from his company's board, he remains a major shareholder. Now, his investment portfolio is broadening, encompassing the promising space industry. He believes strongly in the potential of GomSpace in Aalborg and its ground-breaking nanosatellite technology.
Hargreaves asserts, "The space industry is positioned to significantly impact the course of humanity. It has the potential to address the environmental issues plaguing our planet, including our oceans and atmosphere. Satellites play an indispensable role in this mission, and companies like GomSpace, and many other Danish tech firms, are making commendable strides in this direction."
GomSpace and Goonhilly will Lead Commercial Expansion
Among Hargreaves' diverse investments through Blue Whale and his family trust "The Hargreaves Family No. 14," a longstanding commitment stands out: "Goonhilly," the UK-based operator of ground stations equipped with parabolic antennas and state-of-the-art communication tech. Leveraging triangulation from varied terrestrial and spatial points, they guarantee consistent communication with Deep Space satellites and spacecraft, even when headed to or orbiting the Moon and Mars, overcoming challenges like the substantial communication lags of up to 11 minutes.
Nevertheless, Hargreaves is candid in admitting he is not in the same financial league as moguls like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. Thus, he is concentrated more on terrestrial production for space launches than the costly launches themselves. Together with his consultant and board representative for both firms, Kenn Herskind, Hargreaves envisions a collaborative future between GomSpace and Goonhilly's satellite solutions. The duo also foresees a burgeoning commercial market for satellite applications.
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"I believe that Gomspace was quite unfortunate with the contract where the
customer was not willing to pay. I am happy to be able to invest so that
they can continue despite the losses that contract caused.
I hope there will be fewer shakes on their journey going forward", Peter Hargreaves says.
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From Halley's Comet to Credit Cards
Tracing Peter's Space Fascination—The allure of space has held Peter Hargreaves in its thrall since the 1950s and 60s.
"While many remember where they were during JFK's assassination, I vividly recall watching Neil Armstrong's iconic lunar landing," Hargreaves reminisces. "I was astounded by the precision with which experts could predict celestial events like Halley's Comet's orbit. And who could forget the ground-breaking Star Trek TV series?"
Hargreaves attributes his significant financial investments in the space sector to an intriguing conversation three decades ago. A tech-savvy friend recounted the marvel of using credit cards to settle hotel bills, highlighting the intricate satellite-driven data communication that facilitated these transactions. "This insight prompted me to envision the vast potential of satellite development. An investment I would later make and cherish."
Satellites: Humanity's Earthly Aids
Peter Hargreaves envisions satellites as tools not for extra-terrestrial colonization but for resolving Earth's imminent challenges. "While our descendants might eventually explore distant worlds, it is the satellites' current capabilities that promise hope in tumultuous times," Hargreaves elucidates.
He emphasizes the satellites' pivotal role in amplifying agricultural efficiency. "With satellite monitoring, farmers in developed countries can optimize their yields, ensuring timely harvests and sustainable grazing schedules," he notes. This technology-driven precision minimizes synthetic fertilizer reliance, ensuring abundant and eco-friendly harvests.
Additionally, satellites are indispensable in monitoring and managing environmental crises. Citing the rampant wildfires of 2023, Hargreaves applauds Canada's proactive $739 billion allocation for an expansive electro-optical surveillance initiative. This includes a state-of-the-art radar satellite program for coastal monitoring and early wildfire detection.
GomSpace's Fortuitous Association
Carsten Drachmann, who assumed GomSpace's helm in March 2023, lauds Peter Hargreaves' invaluable association with the firm.
"Peter's significant investment and esteemed global reputation amplify GomSpace's credibility," states Drachmann. "While our immediate goal is achieving profitability, we are concurrently crafting the blueprint for GomSpace's future expansion. Hargreaves' unwavering support, transcending mere financial backing, embodies his profound belief in our vision."