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Finnish satellite imaging startup ICEYE flies off with $136M to curb catastrophes

ICEYE
Image credits: ICEYE

Satellites have been in use for several decades now! It helps capture a wide variety of information about the earth’s surface, from tracking global weather patterns from vegetation to ocean currents. 

More than 500 imaging satellites are orbiting around the earth capturing an incredible amount of data.

Raised $136M

Based out of Helsinki, ICEYE, a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging startup, announced that it has raised a $136M Series D funding round, led by long-standing investor Seraphim Space. To date, the Finnish company has raised $304M in funding.

New strategic investors to ICEYE also include BAE Systems and Kajima Ventures. In addition, Molten Ventures, OTB Ventures, True Ventures, C16 Ventures, Chione Ltd, Services Group of America, the UK’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), Space Capital, and Promus Ventures have also participated in the funding round.

“ICEYE has gone from strength to strength since we first invested in the company in 2017. We’ve watched the company prove the impossible, possible by launching the world’s first miniaturised SAR satellite capable of imaging the planet day and night, to now having grown into being the world’s largest operator of SAR imaging satellites,” says James Bruegger, Chief Investment Officer of Seraphim Space (Manager) LLP. “As the world’s leading specialist investor focused on the New Space ecosystem, we have identified ICEYE as one of the sector’s brightest stars. We anticipate that its global scale persistent monitoring of the planet will have a major impact in helping address some of our most pressing challenges.”

How will the funding be used?

The company will use the funding to grow its innovative Natural Catastrophe solutions and further develop its satellite constellation and technology. 

The financing will also enable ICEYE to boost its growth, particularly, its analytics services, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

“This round of funding shows the confidence our new and returning investors have in ICEYE and ensures the company will continue on its path for growth,” says Susan Repo, Chief Financial Officer at ICEYE. “We are proud of our ability to meet our customers at their point of need, and this financing will help us continue to do exactly that.”

SAR satellites

Founded by Pekka Laurila, and Rafal Modrzewski, ICEYE owns and operates the largest constellation of SAR satellites. 

It is designed to provide customers with reliable and frequent imagery enabling the rapid detection and tracking of changes on the Earth’s surface, regardless of time and weather conditions. 

According to ICEYE, the company’s SAR satellites are ideally suited for applications such as insurance loss adjustment, natural catastrophe response and recovery, national security, humanitarian relief, and climate change monitoring.

Launched 16 missions

So far, the company has successfully launched 16 satellite missions in total. It’s worth mentioning here that its first-ever spacecraft was placed into orbit only four years ago.

ICEYE designs, manufactures, and operates its SAR satellites in-house, with manufacturing timelines brought down to a few months for its spacecraft. 

On January 13, 2022, ICEYE launched two SAR satellites from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch also marked the first satellite built, licensed, and operated by ICEYE US.

Investors

“ICEYE has gone from strength-to-strength since we first invested in the company in 2017. We’ve watched the company prove the impossible, possible by launching the world’s first miniaturised SAR satellite capable of imaging the planet day and night, to now having grown into being the world’s largest operator of SAR imaging satellites,” said James Bruegger, Chief Investment Officer of Seraphim Space (Manager) LLP. “As the world’s leading specialist investor focused on the New Space ecosystem, we have identified ICEYE as one of the sector’s brightest stars. We anticipate that its global scale persistent monitoring of the planet will have a major impact in helping address some of our most pressing challenges.”

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