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SA-born space firm Simera Sense gets €13.5m funding

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 12 Mar 2024
Johann-du-Toit-(Simera) and Keet-van-Zyl-(Knife Capital).
Johann-du-Toit-(Simera) and Keet-van-Zyl-(Knife Capital).

South Africa-founded Simera Sense, which provides end-to-end optical solutions for the small satellite earth observation market, has raised €13.5 million in its first growth investment round.

Simera Sense announced today that it has received a joint investment from NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital, to assist it scale up its operations in response to increased client demand.

The investment would support plans to expand its current production capacity, with new production sites planned in Europe. It would also allow Simera to grow its product development teams, while also increasing customer service capabilities in Europe.

“This will fast-track the development of higher-resolution and short-wave infrared camera products,” reads the statement from Knife Capital.

The funders say a key area of development for Simera Sense is “the inclusion of industry-transforming on-board data processing, embedded in the camera control electronics.”

The companies claim this will be a market first, as data from satellite cameras is typically processed on the ground, which is a challenge with connectivity and bandwidth.

Johann Du Toit, CEO at Simera Sense, said: “We’ll be looking immediately to increase our production capacity so we can meet client demand and bring delivery time down further, while taking the development of our on-board data processing solutions to the next stage.”

Simera supplies solutions to global customers in the Earth observation data and services market, which, according to Knife Capital, is estimated to grow from a $12.55 billion market valuation in 2024 to $20.73 billion by 2029.

Bogdan Gogulan, MD, NewSpace Capital, said: “We’ve been following the company for a number of years. The team has a very rare combination of technical excellence, business acumen, resilience and humility that attracts customers and partners. We believe this team will achieve a lot, including mastering on-board data processing, which would be transformational for the market.’

Launched in South Africa, Simera Sense is headquartered in Belgium and counts AAC Clyde Space, Open Cosmos, Nara Space, OHB Systems AG among its valued clients.

The company collaborates with various European institutions and participates in partnership with other companies in response to ‘New Space’ prospects.

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