OroraTech raises EUR 5.8 million in financing roundThis Space News was published on Wed, 02.06.2021 – 13:32 CEST, covering OroraTech
Forest fires destroy 30-40 million hectares of vegetation each year and cause over $20 billion in damage. Initially difficult to detect, these wildfires release around eight billion tons of CO2 - more than global automobile traffic. OroraTech is countering this increasingly devastating economic and environmental damage by developing, in addition to its platform solution, its own global nanosatellite network that can identify fires around the globe in near real-time. The first launch is scheduled for late 2021 and will form the basis of a thermal infrared nanosatellite constellation. It will be followed by 14 more nanosatellites in 2023, and more than 100 OroraTech satellites are expected to be in orbit by 2026.
In a Series A financing round, the Munich-based company has now secured €5.8 million. It is led by Findus Venture and Ananda Impact Ventures, with additional contributions from APEX Ventures, BayernKapital and business angels such as Clemens Kaiser, SpaceTec Capital and Ingo Baumann. The money raised will be used to further develop the technology and expand the international team. This will have a significant impact on the development of OroraTech's satellite technology and services for wildfire detection. "This round of funding will enable us to launch our first satellites and scale our geospatial data analysis platform," said Thomas Grübler, CEO and co-founder.
The platform is already being used by government agencies, insurance companies and commercial forestry operations around the globe. That's because it helps mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of wildfires and other climate change-related issues. It does this by analyzing data from 14 different satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) using a customized wildfire detection algorithm and notifying users of fires. In this way, the system supports immediate firefighting. In addition to detecting forest fires, however, OroraTech is also working on solutions for monitoring gas flares (created in connection with the extraction of fossil fuels such as natural gas), improving weather models, and analyzing agricultural land. "Thermal infrared satellite imagery enables a large number of use cases," says Björn Stoffers, CMO and co-founder. "Our primary goal is to expand our position as a leading provider of satellite-based wildfire monitoring." So it's no surprise that OroraTech is also working with NGOs to protect wildlife in Africa.
OroraTech was founded in 2018 by Thomas Grübler, Björn Stoffers, Florian Mauracher and Rupert Amann as a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The Munich-based company has since grown to an international team of 44 employees. OroraTech has been supported by research grants from the Bavarian and German governments, the European Space Agency and the European Commission, and completed accelerator programs at Google, Samsung, Plug&Play, ESA BIC and the German Accelerator Silicon Valley.