[Via Satellite 11-16-2015] Iceye, a startup developing radar-imaging microsatellites, has gained $2.8 million in Series A funding, led by True Ventures, with participation from Lifeline Ventures and Founder.org. This follows approximately $2.8 million in Research and Development (R&D) funding from SME Instrument within the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, received in September.
The Iceye instrument can see through clouds, obscuring weather, and in the dark. According to the company, it’s imaging radar instrument enables the supply of unique, near-real-time imagery globally through groups of small satellites. With the radar instrument, the satellites can acquire images regardless of weather or daylight conditions, so the information will be available even in situations where camera-based satellites cannot see the target.
“Governmental and military operators own and use radar satellites already,” said Pekka Laurila, co-founder and CFO of Iceye. “We want to make this technology accessible to everyone at a commercially feasible cost level, which means reducing the satellite unit prices over 100-fold compared to traditional satellites. One of the ways we achieve this is by utilizing off-the-shelf mobile electronics and mass manufacturing.”
Iceye is targeting markets including logistics, insurance, energy, climate and environment, and search and rescue. The recent investor team included a mix of European sources and Silicon Valley sources.
“The need and opportunity for Iceye’s satellites are enormous,” said Jyri Engestrom, member of the investment team at True Ventures. “From forest fires, to floods, to search and rescue operations, to agricultural uses, Iceye will be able to provide critical real-time information that today’s technology cannot. The market for this product is real and we believe this is the team to lead it.”
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