- Press Release
- August 17, 2022
British Satellite scale-up raises £15m in oversubscribed Series A funding
London 20 October 2021: British satellite scale-up Satellite Vu, founded in 2016, has successfully raised £15 million ($20.7 million), as it looks to ramp up its plans to launch seven thermal and infrared imaging satellites into space that will be able to provide real-time data on how green every building on the planet is.
Satellite Vu’s latest funding round of £15 million ($20.7 million), which was oversubscribed, was led by the Seraphim Space Investment Trust Plc, the world’s first listed Space Tech Fund. Also investing in the round is Draper Esprit; A/O PropTech, Europe’s largest proptech VC; Ridgeline Ventures; Earth Science Foundation; E2MC Ventures and Stellar Solutions/Ford Family Trust.
The funding round highlights Satellite Vu’s rapid growth, with the company having raised its seed round funding of £3.6 million ($5 million) just six months ago.
Satellite Vu’s first satellite – being manufactured in Guildford, Surrey, UK – will collect real-time temperature data about the Earth’s built environment several times a day, allowing for key insights around energy efficiency and how individual buildings are being used and occupied. The first satellite is due to be launched into orbit in October 2022.
This data can be updated every 1 to 2 hours, and the use of infrared means coverage is guaranteed even at night.
By measuring the heat coming off a building, Satellite Vu will provide data that will be able to show if any individual building is being heated efficiently or which parts of a city are the worst emissions offenders.
This matters acutely when it comes to the built environment because the real estate industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change. It makes up 40% of global carbon emissions when accounting for construction and building performance.
Satellite Vu’s data has the potential to be a game-changer for anyone involved in building, funding and insuring real estate and infrastructure. By providing global data at a micro-local level, the technology has the ability to empower real estate market actors to make the right changes to make building stock greener.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the recent IPCC report “a code red for humanity”, which highlighted how vital it is for changes to be made now to start tackling climate change. But without accurate data, both the private and public sectors will struggle to make the correct decisions quickly enough to ensure that the pace of change is fast enough.
Insurers, investors, banks and building owners will also all be able to use the data to make better-informed decisions. For example, regulators have also mooted a clampdown on leaky commercial buildings in the UK, with plans to increase the minimum standard of energy performance certificates to a B grade, ruling thousands of properties as stranded assets.
Owners and funders of those buildings will need to know which parts of their portfolio could fall foul of incoming regulation and adjust valuations and buy/hold strategies as a result.
The initial use of the data will be for the built environment, but the data will also be able to be used for:
- Pollution flows into rivers and seas
- Wildfire monitoring
- Maritime security (people trafficking/pirates/illegal fishing)
- Monitor for compliance, safety and net zero credential of industrial processes such as mining, steel and cement
- Regulators could use the data to ensure their sustainability standards are accurate
- Satellite Vu has also been backed by the UK Space Agency through its National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP) to support the build of the infrared sensor for its first satellite. The UK Government recently launched a National Space Strategy aimed at advancing British space technology, which included measures to back businesses like Satellite Vu that help tackle global challenges such as climate change.
Satellite VU will be attending COP 26.
Anthony Baker, CEO of Satellite Vu, said:
“With COP 26 just around the corner and Europe and parts of the USA having suffered the hottest summer on record, there is growing acceptance that we need to act now to try to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our everyday lives and economy. But while many think of industries such as aviation as some of the least sustainable, the built environment is actually one of the primary polluters across our globe. But regular individual monitoring of these buildings is too expensive both in terms of time and cost, meaning much of the environmental and sustainable ratings are often years out of date. That’s simply not good enough when we clearly need to act now and means many are not aware of just how poorly a building is performing in terms of sustainably.
“Our groundbreaking use of infrared and thermal imaging technology on our satellites will mean that landlords, funders, insurers and governments and regulators will be able to access real-time information at an affordable cost that will provide them with a single source of truth on how sustainable a building really is meaning they can take steps to make that building more sustainable. This latest round of funding means we can look ahead to the launch of our first satellite in late 2022 and start the process of securing delivery slots for the remaining six.”
James Bruegger, CIO of Seraphim Space LLP, Seraphim Investment Trust’s investment manager, said:
“We have been committed to Satellite Vu for a number of years, first through our Accelerator programme and then through multiple investments. Our significant increase in investment shows the enormous promise that high resolution infrared satellite data holds in solving serious issues impacting the world. With 40% of all carbon emissions coming directly / indirectly from buildings, finding a way to pinpoint the worst energy wasting buildings at global scale is a pressing issue if the world is to achieve Net Zero. By measuring the thermal footprint of any building on the planet, Satellite Vu’s high resolution, high revisit infrared satellite constellation holds the key to resolving this.”
Gregory Dewerpe, founder of A/O PropTech, said:
“Investing in the fight against climate change means backing innovation and bold ideas, but it also means we have to do it now if we are to have any hope of reaching our net zero ambitions. Real estate is the most polluting asset class in the world and it’s also the largest one. This means that reaching our net-zero goals globally will only be possible if we successfully decarbonise real estate. Satellite Vu’s accurate, real-time measurement of the energy performance can become the single source of truth when it comes to calculating, benchmarking and reducing buildings emissions and show us exactly where to prioritize- something that neither current regulations nor systems, which are based on historical operational use data, are able to do at scale and systemically.”
George Chalmers, Draper Esprit said:
“Retrofitting the world’s existing building stock is a key lever for achieving any net-zero roadmap. Currently, we are lacking the insight needed to deploy, at scale, the trillions of dollars needed in this area. Consistent and robust data is crucial across every layer of the stack, from government and regulators to financiers and insurers.
“Satellite Vu is bringing a whole new category of data and solutions to these important markets. We believe in its potential to lead the charge in how we measure the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of our built world and deliver on the promises we are making to our planet.”
About Satellite Vu
Satellite Vu was founded to bring satellite technology to address our global challenges. We will be able to monitor the temperature of any building on the planet in near real-time using a new satellite technology to determine valuable insights into economic activity, energy efficiency and carbon footprint. Satellite Vu will effectively provide the Earth’s thermometer in Space.
About Seraphim Space Investment Trust
Seraphim Space Investment Trust is the world’s first listed fund focused on Space Tech. The Company seeks exposure predominantly to early and growth stage private financed Space Tech businesses that have the potential to dominate globally and that are sector leaders with first mover advantages in areas such as climate, communications, mobility and cyber security.
The Company listed on the Premium Segment of the London Stock Exchange on 14 July 2021, following an oversubscribed IPO raising £178.4 million. It currently has exposure to 17 Space Tech companies and has agreed to acquire investments in a further two companies by 31 December 2021.
Seraphim Space Investment Trust is managed by Seraphim Space (Manager) LLP.
Further information is available at: www.seraphim.vc
About A/O PropTech
Europe’s largest proptech VC firm investing in technology companies transforming the built world. A/O’s mission is to transform real estate into a more digital, efficient, and accessible asset class by applying innovative technologies and business models. Our vision is to improve quality of life, accelerate sustainable living, and enable the decarbonization of the largest asset class in the world.
About Draper Esprit
Draper Esprit is one of the most active venture capital firms in Europe, investing in disruptive, high growth technology companies. We believe the best entrepreneurs in Europe are capable of building the global businesses of the future. We fuel their growth with long-term capital, access to international networks and decades of experience building businesses.
For more information, go to draperesprit.com
About Ridgeline Ventures
Ridgeline Ventures invests in commercially-focused technologies capable of transforming defense and national security through advances in Space, Internet of Things, Software (devtools, big data, enterprise software), and artificial intelligence (computer vision, deep learning, machine learning). Ridgeline typically invests at or prior to the Series A and becomes deeply involved in our companies’ go-to-market in defense and national security.
About Stellar Solution/ Ford Family Revocable Trust
A woman-owned small business founded by Celeste Ford in 1995, Stellar Solutions, Inc. has been providing high impact engineering services, end-to-end technical expertise and creative solutions to significant national and international customers.”
About Earth Sciences Foundation (ESF)
ESF is a not for profit corporation established in the USA with a focus on investing in companies addressing our global challenges.
About E2MC Ventures
E2MC Ventures is a venture capital firm dedicated to the space sector, investing from the seed stage onwards globally. Our team, based in Switzerland and the U.S., possesses decades of experience in space, investment and entrepreneurship. www.e2mc.space