From: OTB Ventures
Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020
OTB Ventures, a leading venture capital firm specialized in investments in technology companies originating in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), today announces the launch of a dedicated investment vehicle to support Europe’s leading space technologies - OTB Space Program I – backed by the European Investment Fund and the European Commission through the InnovFin for Equity programme.
Coinciding with the launch OTB Space Program I, OTB Ventures and its managed funds have committed $30m in equity investment in ICEYE, a European leader in small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology. This investment by OTB Ventures forms a cornerstone to ICEYE’s $87m series C funding round, also announced today. As a result of ICEYE’s series C funding round, OTB Ventures has seen its original investment in ICEYE rise by a significant value.
ICEYE SAR data is delivered to a global customer base of governments and commercial data users for site monitoring, time critical analysis, detailed change detection and other geospatial problem-solving. As ICEYE is preparing to accelerate the size of its constellation with 4 new ICEYE SAR spacecraft manifested for launch within the next 6 months, the new funding from the OTB Space Program I, investing alongside dedicated space industry funds including Newspace Capital, Space Angels and Seraphim Space, will enable further technology development and expansion of ICEYE’s satellite constellation. This will increase data availability for all continents, while enabling ICEYE to continue developing ground-breaking radar imaging capabilities.
Today’s investment, alongside Draper Associates, DNX and Draper Esprit, is also the first combined investment since OTB Ventures joined the Draper Venture Network, a global alliance of 22 independent venture capital firms across 5 continents, with $1.6 billion in collective assets.
Beyond ICEYE, OTB Ventures is an investor in SpaceKnow, a satellite imagery analytics platform that uses commercial imagery from satellite operators to provide targeted industrial and geographic intelligence. In recent months, SpaceKnow has proven to be a valuable tool in assessing different commercial and industrial environments following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Marcin Hejka, co-founder and Managing Partner of OTB Ventures, said: “With the launch of OTB Space Program I, we are making a significant commitment to Europe’s speed, strength and agility in the global commercial space race. We are still at the beginning of an era of investment in the commercial space sector. The long-term demand for satellite imaging data and analytics has been accelerated by Covid-19. Lockdown measures have created a void in a globally connected environment without the availability of travel for due diligence, site inspection and other settings where satellite images provide a technology substitute. This source of new demand will serve the industry well, increasing adoption and investment for the long-term.”
Adam Niewiński, co-founder and Managing Partner of OTB Ventures, said: “We are pleased to be a cornerstone investor in the latest round of venture funding for ICEYE. OTB Ventures was an early pioneer investor in the European space sector and ICEYE exemplifies the global success that is made possible by a combination of both financial and human capital. We are thrilled to be part of the evolving ecosystem where even the sky is no longer the limit. The R&D capabilities in Europe make it a natural technology champion, and we look forward to a bright future for ICEYE as its constellation, systems and use cases expand.”
Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder, ICEYE, said: "OTB Ventures and ICEYE have together grown the New Space industry in Europe to what it otherwise would not be today. OTB Ventures are a key partner for us in achieving our goals in the global aerospace market. With the continued support we have from Adam and the team at OTB Ventures, I look forward to overcoming the new and exciting challenges still ahead of us.”
About OTB Ventures
OTB Ventures is a leading venture capital firm in the CEE investing in early growth, post-product, high-tech start-ups that are developing unique technologies. Our partners have each over 20 years of entrepreneurial and international venture capital experience, and a proven track record in supporting the expansion of start-ups across international markets. We believe that maintaining dialogue with founders is essential for us to effectively support them. We provide guidance, mentorship and advice, as well as strategic support and in-depth market knowledge. We utilize our industry, financial and personal networks - backed by our strong market reputation as a fair and founder-friendly investor. We're constantly searching for the next opportunity - and encourage ambitious, driven disruptors to reach out and get in touch with us.
ICEYE is building and operating its own commercial constellation of radar imaging satellites, with SAR data already available to customers. ICEYE empowers others to make better decisions in governmental and commercial industries by providing access to timely and reliable SAR satellite imagery. The company is tackling the current crucial lack of actionable information with world-first aerospace capabilities and a New Space approach. ICEYE’s radar satellite imaging service, designed to deliver very frequent coverage, both day and night, helps clients resolve challenges in sectors such as maritime, disaster management, insurance, and finance. For more information, please visit: www.iceye.com
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