Sunday, June 24

Satellite data attracts slew of VC interest for ICEYE funding

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Finnish ICEYE completed a $34 million funding round led by return investor True Ventures and supported by a slew of VC funds.

ICEYE is an Earth observation company providing synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data in sectors such as finance and insurance, as well as the maritime industry, disaster management, security and intelligence.

It will use the new capital to expand its custom analytics services for its growing customer base, further develop its SAR satellite technology, as well as fund additional launches of ICEYE SAR satellites, according to a company statement.

 

Read MarketBrains on alternative data from outer space

 

URSA Space provides oil industry demand indicators from ICEYE data, but no other financial-related relationships are disclosed, said a spokesperson.

The funding round includes financial backing from previous investors True Ventures, Draper Nexus, Draper Associates, Seraphim Capital and Space Angels, and joined by new investors OTB, Tesi, Draper Esprit and Promus Ventures.

True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups, and has some $1.4 billion under management.

Other VCs investing in the round have backed fintech companies like Coinbase and Transferwise.

To date, ICEYE has raised a total of $53 million, including government financing from Finland and the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.

In January, ICEYE successfully completed a historic landmark in aerospace by becoming the first organization in the world to launch a SAR satellite with a launch mass of under 100kg.

With darkness or clouds covering two-thirds of the planet at any given time, SAR technology delivers reliable imaging even when optical imaging cannot.

Rohit Sharma, venture partner at True Ventures and ICEYE board member, said in a statement: “We are excited to accelerate our three-year-old partnership with ICEYE and lead their current round of financing as they continue to change the way Earth observation data is gathered, analyzed, and delivered.”

ICEYE is launching two additional satellites this year and aiming for a total of nine upcoming satellite launches by the end of 2019. It’s actively seeking out launch operators to continue the company’s rapid acceleration towards the future.

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