Planet Labs: Inaccurate Forecasting and Slowing Growth

April 4. 2024. 5 mins read

We’re either completely alone in the universe or we’re not. Either outcome is equally terrifying, so it’s best not to think about that stuff too much and stay focused on stonks. Planet Earth is our only home, and understanding it through imagery is now possible thanks to geospatial intelligence vendors like the aptly named Planet Labs (PL).

Why We Invested in Planet Labs

Click for Planet company website

Our thesis was simply this. Most NewSpace themes are low-margin, capital-intensive ventures that don’t offer software-like gross margins. Planet Labs was an exception to that rule with their “capital light” geospatial intelligence business that’s a cut above the other pure-play publicly traded geospatial intelligence companies out there. We invest in leaders, and Planet Labs leads in terms of revenues and market cap when compared to other pure-play geospatial intelligence stocks.

Bar chart showing Geospatial Intelligence Pure-play revenues: Planet Labs, Blacksky, and Spire Global
Credit: Nanalyze

Then the problems started. First, we noticed it in the proprietary metric Planet introduced called “winbacks.” This was supposed to measure customers whose contracts lapsed, then salespeople chased them down to resubscribe. If Planet’s solution is so valuable, then people should be proactively r

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