Why Spire chose to set up in Scotland

Skilled talent, access to risk capital and the support we offer to innovative companies, are among the top reasons that California-based satellite data specialists, Spire, chose to set up in Scotland.

Access to risk capital, flexibility and support

Spire is a nanosatellite and data analysis company based out of San Francisco. The company specialises in gathering unique data from small satellites in a low-earth orbit. Spire collect this data, pull it down and through a network of ground stations, and sell the data as a service.

Founded in 2012, the company has already taken the world by storm and, as part of its global expansion, opened its European headquarters right here in Scotland.

When scouting for its new European base, the company looked at numerous different locations, but were instantly enamoured with what Scotland had to offer.

Talking about what brought him to Scotland, co-founder and CEO of Spire, Peter Platzer, said, “Where Scotland won out was the access to risk capital, the flexibility and, importantly, the eagerness to support innovative companies – this really stood out here.”

 

"“It was at least as easy as it was in Singapore, which everyone thinks of as being a super-efficient place. It was just as easy here.”

Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire

Fast and easy set up

Theresa Condor, EVP of Corporate Development at Spire, said: “I initially visited Scottish Development International’s Silicon Valley office, in early September. I told them we’re interested in Scotland and we want to get an office set up right away - at the beginning of the year. So, they got me something, in writing, by November. We opened our office here at the end of January. That’s very fast.”

Scotland provides a first-class welcome

Scotland has a well-known reputation for providing a first-class welcome to all our visitors and from the moment Scotland was chosen as their new home, Peter and his Spire colleagues were blown away by the warm and open reception they received.

“We had a number of overseas staff come here for a temporary position to help set up who have since decided that they want to stay here permanently. Glasgow is a really great place to live and Scotland in general - our people really enjoy being here. The words friendly and hospitable are really not rich enough in meaning to describe the experience of being a part of everyday life here in Scotland.”

As well as the amazing welcome and help that they have had to settle into life in Scotland, Peter was also very keen to point out the amazing access to an incredibly talented Scottish work force, “When we looked at Scottish staff, we found that the passion for what they do, their character and work ethic, is absolutely world-class.” 

“The confidence placed in us from Scotland enables us to expand our global footprint to attract the skills and talent we need to deliver on the next generation of weather satellites”.

Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire

Future growth plans

Peter said, “Spire has been growing almost 100% year over year. Right now, the signs are very positive, and we continue to hire, particularly for engineers, here in our Glasgow office.”

Where current weather satellites do a great job providing us with information, Spire’s new nanosatellites could gather up to 100 times more information. Peter co-founded the company in 2012 with a vision to provide satellite-powered data from any location on earth. He is now regarded as one of the pioneers in launching small form factor satellites into space – a meteoric rise in a small space of time.

Today they have the world’s only commercial weather data constellation and their unique weather data means that, around the world, we can be better prepared to meet changes in our weather system. Data – like that provided by Spire’s nanosatellites – can be the key factor in fighting the extreme and unpredictable weather events that cause so much destruction globally.

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