Americas - Projects

OroraTech to launch satellites to tackle global wildfires

ororatech

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 development of the 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.”