OroraTech Successfully Closes €5.8M Series A to Launch First Satellites to Tackle Global Wildfire and Climate Crisis
Munich, June 1st, 2021 – OroraTech is the first NewSpace start-up to provide global wildfire detection and monitoring services. The platform is already used by government agencies, insurance companies, and commercial forestry operators around the globe, helping to mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of forest fires and other climate change-related topics. The latest €5.8 million Series A funding round is led by Findus Venture and Ananda Impact Ventures, with contributions from APEX Ventures, BayernKapital, and experienced Business Angels including Clemens Kaiser, SpaceTec Capital, and Ingo Baumann. It will be used for further advancement of technology and the development of international team.
Wildfires destroy 30-40 million hectares of vegetation every year, causing insured losses of over 20 billion US dollars. These initially difficult to identify forest fires release around eight billion tons of CO2 – more than global automobile traffic. OroraTech counteracts this increasingly devastating economic and environmental damage and develops, in addition to its platform solution, its own worldwide nanosatellite network that can identify fires around the globe in near real-time.
This Series A round has a significant impact on the development of OroraTech’s satellite technology and wildfire detection services. “This funding round will enable us to launch our first satellites and scale our geospatial data analysis platform,” says Thomas Grübler, CEO and Co-founder. The first launch is planned for the end of 2021 and will be the basis of their thermal infrared nanosatellite constellation. In 2023, 14 more nanosatellites will follow, and by 2026, more than 100 OroraTech satellites will be in orbit. OroraTech’s constellation is designed to fill in the gaps and provide a completely new set of thermal-infrared data, providing real-time information on fires worldwide.
“OroraTech is a leader in thermal-infrared data from space. With its unique information from this data and modern SaaS approach, OroraTech will meet the ever-growing demand for space-based data”, says Christian Federspiel, CEO of Findus Venture.
Florian Erber, Managing Director at Ananda Impact Ventures, adds: “What excites us about OroraTech is the immediate impact on mitigating Climate Change by protecting our natural carbon sinks and reducing CO2 emissions on a large scale. The strong mission-driven OroraTech team and their environmental solution is a perfect fit for Ananda and our core believe in entrepreneurial solutions for a more sustainable world.”
“We have been actively observing OroraTech since 2019 which has already then impressed by its dynamic and determined founder team. It is absolutely remarkable what they have built up and achieved so far despite limited financial resources and we feel very proud that we are allowed to be part of this inspiring and ambitious NewSpace project,” says Wolfgang Neubert, Partner at APEX Ventures.
Roman Huber, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital, adds: “The market potential of NewSpace businesses is considerable. The potential fields of application for OroraTech across the globe in particularly at-risk regions such as California, Australia, or Brazil, convinced us – the venture capital organization of the Free State of Bavaria – from the start. With our growth fund ‘Wachstumsfonds Bayern’ we will support the Munich-based business to take the next step in realizing its ambitious growth plans.”
The company’s focus is to prevent, monitor and uncover the damages caused by climate change and to tackle environment-related business opportunities. Besides forest fire detection, OroraTech also works on solutions to monitor gas flares, improve weather models, and analyze agricultural areas. “Thermal-infrared satellite imagery allows for a great number of use cases,” says Björn Stoffers, CMO and Co-founder. “Our primary target is to expand our position as the leading provider of satellite-based wildfire monitoring.” OroraTech’s platform currently uses a custom wildfire detection algorithm and data from 14 different satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) to notify users of fires in their area of interest and to support immediate firefighting. The company is expanding its customer base in the U.S. and Canada, as well as strengthening its presence in Brazil, Chile, and Australia. OroraTech is also cooperating with NGOs to preserve wildlife in Africa.
The funding round will enable OroraTech to grow its international team and establish branch offices in the United States and Australia. Stoffers adds: “Wildfires are a significant challenge for our global ecosystem, and we are closely collaborating with international experts to tackle the problem.”
OroraTech is a NewSpace start-up headquartered in Munich, Germany, providing a global satellite-based wildfire detection and monitoring service by processing data from various available satellite sources. In parallel, the company is developing its own nanosatellite constellation specialized in wildfire detection, with the first satellite launching at the end of 2021. Founded in 2018 by Thomas Grübler, Björn Stoffers, Florian Mauracher, and Rupert Amann as a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the company has grown to an international team of 44 employees. OroraTech has been supported by research grants from the Bavarian and German government, the European Space Agency and the European Commission, and graduated from accelerator programs at Google, Samsung, Plug&Play, ESA BIC, and the German Accelerator Silicon Valley. More about OroraTech: www.ororatech.com
About the investors
Findus Venture GmbH is an Austria-based investor in NewSpace, AI, and CleanMobility. Findus invests in DeepTech companies with sustainable business models that are to be used for the benefit of mankind. Findus understands the core business model of these companies, in combination with the underlying technology and solutions. To stay up to date, Findus and its partners implement technology-intensive projects such as the ADLER-x satellite series. Findus is an investor of Spire Global and Hyperloop Transport Technologies – HTT, among others.
Ananda Impact Ventures manages EUR 80 million in three funds and is one of the leading impact venture capital funds with a European focus. Ananda invests in outstanding impact entrepreneurs creating solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges. The active portfolio comprises impact pioneers such as Auticon (IT consulting by people in the autism spectrum), IESO Digital Health (online psychotherapy) and Klim (regenerative agriculture). More about Ananda Impact Ventures: www.ananda.vc
APEX Ventures is a European-based Venture Capital Firm investing in deep-tech start-ups focusing on unique and defendable intellectual property and above-average market potential. APEX funds have completed numerous investments in Europe and the U.S., among others in the fields of A.I. for medical applications, quantum, and laser technologies, automation and robotics, computer vision, space technologies, as well as digital forensics. APEX Ventures closely supports the founding teams in their go-to-market approaches to help accelerate international growth. APEX Ventures closely works with academic institutions, entrepreneurship programs, and other international VC partners to identify talented teams and support their ideas at an early stage. More about APEX Ventures: www.apex.ventures
Bayern Kapital GmbH, based in Landshut, Germany, was founded as an initiative of the Bavarian government in 1995. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bavarian LfA Förderbank. As the Free State of Bavaria venture capital organization, Bayern Kapital provides equity capital financing for the founders of young innovative technology companies in Bavaria. Presently, Bayern Kapital manages twelve investment funds with a total volume of around EUR 500 million. So far, it has invested roughly EUR 350 million in about 290 innovative technology companies in various sectors, including life sciences, software & IT, medical technology, materials and new materials, nanotechnology, and environmental technology. In this way, more than 8,000 long-term jobs in sustainable companies have been created in Bavaria. More about Bayern Kapital: www.bayernkapital.de