ICeye raises $136m for radar satellites

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Finnish satellite operator ICeye has raised $136m to boost its space-based radar technology development, including AI analytics.

This brings the total raised by the company to $304m since 2015 and includes an investment by the European Union as part of its space strategy. ICeye owns and operates the world’s largest constellation of SAR radar satellites and has launched 16 satellite missions since its first launch four years ago. The company provides data to identify natural catastrophes and help coordinate the responses.

The company designs, manufactures, and operates its SAR satellites in-house, with manufacturing timelines brought down to a few months for its spacecraft. Last month it launched two SAR satellites from Cape Canaveral, Florida, including the first system built, licensed, and operated by ICeye US.

The Series D funding round was led by long-standing investor Seraphim Space which is a leading investor in space startups. New strategic investors 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.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) participated as an investor through the InnovFin For Equity (IFE) programme, which is backed by the European Commission, through OTB Ventures.

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ICeye will use the cash to develop its leading satellite constellation and technology, reducing time to access and increasing the visiting frequency of its satellites. The company will also make further investments towards its growth globally, particularly its analytics services, which includes artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“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. “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.”

“Our entire ICeye team has built a solid reputation by delivering concrete results to our customers with unmatched timelines and quality of service,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICeye. “We are proud of that track record, and we intend to build and improve upon it. With this new funding round, we’ll be able to continue expanding our operations and further develop our NatCat solutions which is an important focus area to accelerate our growth.”

ICeye’s constellation 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 of day, or weather conditions. This capability is ideally suited for applications such as insurance loss adjustment, natural catastrophe response and recovery, national security, humanitarian relief and climate change monitoring.

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