Munich NewSpace start-up OroraTech closes seed financing round
Through new investments, numerous supporters have reaffirmed their faith in OroraTech. Founded in 2018 during a research project at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), OroraTech has grown to 25 employees and made significant advances in developing a world-leading satellite-based service for global wildfire monitoring.
“A data-driven world requires global real-time information, which can be acquired from Space,” states Thomas Grübler, CEO and Co-founder of OroraTech.
OroraTech´s vision is simple: providing NewSpace intelligence for a sustainable Earth. By providing satellite-based near real-time information to detect and monitor fires, OroraTech protects ecosystems and the economic sectors linked to them.
Grübler, in collaboration with Co-founders Björn Stoffers, Florian Mauracher, and Rupert Amann, deliberately entered a segment that is not only gaining incremental importance but also offers immense potential for growth and sustainability: wildfire early detection and monitoring.
Wildfires are becoming more severe and devastating, being responsible for about 10% of global CO2 emissions every year. OroraTech is committed to safeguarding forests around the world and preserving biodiversity. Therefore, the company not only focuses on improved detection and monitoring of forest fires, but also on risk and damage analysis based on vegetation, weather, and topographical data. OroraTech takes on responsibility by contributing to climate protection while spearheading Germany’s NewSpace industry.
OroraTech’s service stands out from competitors by combining AI-assisted algorithms with a broad range of available satellite data to provide wildfire intelligence in near real-time. The company’s web application is already used by public authorities, research institutions, and companies around the world. Following an intensive upgrade and improvement phase, a newly released service upgrade and improvements are benefitting users in Latin America and Canada. Further, OroraTech is positioned with key Australian stakeholders for the next bushfire season. The company strives to complement the service by its own constellation of nanosatellites with state-of-the-art infrared sensors in the near future.
Supporters & Financing Round
OroraTech has been financed so far by research funds from the German federal government and the EU, as well as by private investments from business angels. In December 2019, a seed financing round was successfully concluded, with lead investor Martin Weiss commenting: “I see the NewSpace segment as the business of the future, especially with satellite constellations and their diverse applications to identify hidden contributors to climate change. OroraTech convinced me above all with its highly talented, motivated, and professional team. I am proud to support OroraTech as lead investor and look forward to accompanying them on their way”.
The other investors include Dr.-Ing. Clemens Kaiser, Rainer Horn, and Dr. Ingo Baumann. They complement the team with their vast expertise and networking capabilities:
Martin Weiss (ConActivity KG), former Director of Global Markets Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank AG supports young entrepreneurs through his initiative House of Mentors in Frankfurt.
Dr.-Ing. Clemens Kaiser, former Director of Program Development of EUMETSAT and former member of the Management Board of Kayser-Threde, was already involved in the DLR FireBird satellite program for fire detection. Currently, Mr. Kaiser is CTO & Managing Director at KLEO Connect GmbH.
Rainer Horn (SpaceTec Capital), Managing Partner at SpaceTec Partners & SpaceTec Capital has established a broad global network with space institutions, industry, and investors. He is also part of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) Space.
Dr. Ingo Baumann, partner at BHO Legal is one of Europe´s leading legal experts in the space industry. He brings in the necessary legal expertise for the launch and operations of OroraTech´s future satellite constellation and the provision of its services.
The OroraTech team can additionally count on the support and a network of high-ranking representatives from business, politics, and science in the implementation of its mission, including namely:
Prof. Dr. J. G. Goldammer, Director at the Global Fire Monitoring Center, one of the most renowned European forest fire experts and leaders of the UN-FAO/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walter, holder of the Chair of Space Technology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and former German astronaut. He is the company’s most important advisor in the field of satellite technology.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. A.W. Koch, holder of the Chair of Measurement Systems and Sensor Technology at TUM.
Dirk Kampf, Technical Director at Telescope Optics GmbH – the main advisors for camera developments.
Realizing OroraTech´s vision, its service portfolio will be further expanded to include solutions for urban heat management, agriculture, weather forecasts, climate models, and real-time market information. To this end, OroraTech is constantly expanding its collaboration with leading universities, research institutes, companies and regional, national as well as international authorities.