Finish startup ICEYE raises $87m to accelerate growth of its SAR satellite constellation
ICEYE, a SAR data provider, announced the closing of a larger than planned $87 million Series C funding, led by return investor True Ventures, with a significant additional investment by OTB Ventures. ICEYE has so far successfully launched 5 satellite missions, starting with the first ever small SAR satellite launched in January 2018.
The company is launching 4 additional SAR satellites this year and is on course to launch at least an additional 8 in 2021. This will grow the existing operational constellation into a capability that is unique in the World. To date, ICEYE has raised a total of $152 million in financing.
Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE: “ICEYE is enabling others to solve immeasurably difficult problems that affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Our team has built a reputation of delivering results to our customers with unmatched timelines and quality of service. We are proud of that reputation, and we intend to maintain it. This round of investment ensures our SAR satellite constellation will reach a size of at least 12 satellites in 2021, guaranteeing 4 times a day revisit rate globally.”
ICEYE designs, manufactures and operates its SAR satellites in-house, with manufacturing timelines brought down to months for its spacecraft. Since the successful January 2018 launch of the first ICEYE SAR satellite, the company has delivered SAR imaging services and new capabilities to global customers. These years of operation have included many world-first achievements for small SAR satellites, such as 0.25 meter resolution data and SAR video. Recently, ICEYE has demonstrated record time data deliveries of 5 minutes from the start of data downlink to having processed images available on customer systems.
ICEYE intends to use this financing round to continue accelerating the growth of its SAR satellite constellation with more spacecraft, increasing data availability for all continents through 24/7 customer operations, continuing the development of ground-breaking radar imaging capabilities, and for establishing spacecraft manufacturing in the US. The financing round is significantly larger than originally planned, which is especially noteworthy during the economically turbulent year of 2020. It is a powerful sign of trust from the financial community that ICEYE’s business and operational model works, and that the organization is accelerating towards further global impact.
Given the unprecedented frequency and scale of climate driven changes in the weather, crop patterns, fires, urban living and human activities, there is a critical immediate need for real-time information and data access on a global scale. This access can be used for saving lives during humanitarian and disaster response situations, and for economic decision making during moments of crisis.
ICEYE has provided commercial radar satellite imaging worldwide for several years, enabling ICEYE’s customers to respond to oil spills, hurricanes, deforestation and many more use cases. Along with these active customer imaging operations, the ICEYE SAR satellite constellation has seen an unprecedented development cycle of new imaging capabilities and new spacecraft generations.
Adam Niewiński, Co-founder and Managing Partner of OTB Ventures, said: “We are pleased to be a cornerstone investor in the latest round of venture funding for ICEYE. We are thrilled to be part of the evolving ecosystem where even the sky is no longer the limit.”
ICEYE’s Series C includes participation from return investors True Ventures, OTB Ventures, Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi), Draper Esprit, DNX Ventures, Draper Associates, Seraphim Capital, Promus Ventures and Space Angels. The funding round is joined by New Space Capital and Luxembourg Future Fund. The European Investment Fund (EIF) participated both as advisor to Luxembourg Future Fund and as investor through the InnovFin For Equity (IFE) programme, which is backed by the European Commission.
Further, a significant portion of Tesi’s investment is supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe of the Juncker Commission. Coinciding with ICEYE’s Series C funding, OTB Ventures also announced the launch of a dedicated investment vehicle to support Europe’s leading space technologies - OTB Space Program I – backed by the European Investment Fund and the European Commission through the InnovFin for Equity programme.