TransAstra is Taking Off with Torrey Pines Bank

Joel Sercel, founder and CEO of TransAstra standing in their office.

California-based TransAstra has a vision to utilize space resources to build a thriving space economy and make humans interplanetary species. And they’re taking big strides to get there as they develop game-changing technologies that propel explosive, but responsible, growth of both existing and new space industries. Needless to say, things are busy at “The Hive,” the company’s headquarters. 

“We are building technology to bridge where we are today to where we are going in the future,” said Joel Sercel, founder and CEO of TransAstra. The two most active technology projects currently underway are the company’s groundbreaking Sutter Telescope and the development of the Worker Bee. 

The Sutter Telescope has the ability to identify dark, fast-moving objects in low earth orbit, and also help the government identify things that don’t want to be found. “We named the Sutter Telescope after Sutter’s Mill in California. In the same way that Sutter’s Mill set off the Gold Rush, we believe the Sutter Telescope’s technology and ability to identify things in space will set off the Space Rush,” said Sercel. 

In addition to the Sutter Telescope, the team at TransAstra is also busy tracking towards the demo launch of the Worker Bee by the end of 2023, which will be the first step in the roadmap for asteroid mining and tapping into the practically unlimited resources of space. “Worker Bee is essentially a truck to move things around in space. You can’t operate a mine without trucks, so once the trucking industry is going, we can then utilize the Worker Bee to begin mining,” added Sercel. 

Looking beyond Worker Bee, TransAstra has received funding from NASA to develop Mini Bee. Then, they’ll develop Honey Bee, which will be the first technology equipped with mining capabilities. 

You may be wondering where the bee association came from. “Many companies involved in space resources were thinking about it as terrestrial mining,” said Sercel. “For us, it was more like harvesting resources as a bee would.” From there, the bee theme took off.  

As fast as TransAstra is moving, they knew they needed a bank that could keep pace. 

TransAstra has a relationship with Southern California law firm Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, and one of the leading principals and top startup lawyers in Southern California is Managing Partner Scott Alderton. He noted, “Besides providing technically excellent legal services, one of the very best things I can do for my clients is to solve a non-legal problem by providing a high-quality referral. When I refer Natalie Do of Torrey Pines Bank to a client, I know their banking problems will be solved, and they will get excellent and thoughtful services from a pragmatic, trusted advisor.”
Sercel said, “When we were looking to scale the company last year, I was very frustrated with our old traditional bank. They couldn’t move fast enough. So, I asked Scott for a recommendation. Based on his description, it seemed incredibly clear that Torrey Pines Bank was the way to go.”

Since TransAstra began working with Torrey Pines Bank, Sercel has found “the difference in customer service is night and day. A lot of people think that banks are banks, but from a customer standpoint the difference is service and responsiveness. We now get what we need in days, not weeks.” 

Asked what he liked most about working with Torrey Pines Bank, Sercel said, “Torrey Pines Bank is fast, efficient, understands our business and is willing to go the extra mile to get the mission accomplished.”