Simera Sense, world leader in Earth observation optical imaging solutions, raises €13.5m in growth investment round

  • Simera Sense, world leader in providing end-to-end optical payload solutions to the small satellite Earth observation industry, has raised €13.5 million in its first major fundraise
  • In response to market demand, Simera will use the funding from investors NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital to further develop its product range, increase production capacity and accelerate on-board processing capabilities, which would transform the market
  • Noting the growth of the Earth observation market and increasing demand for its high-resolution cameras, Simera Sense CEO Johann Du Toit said it was ‘a very exciting time for the company, where years of know-how can now be scaled’
  • NewSpace Capital Managing Partner Bogdan Gogulan praised the company’s strong track record and potential to transform the market

12 March 2024 – Simera Sense, a world leader providing end-to-end optical solutions for the small satellite Earth observation industry, has raised €13.5 million in its first growth investment round.

The company, which offers a diverse array of ‘off-the-shelf’ high-resolution cameras ready for use by clients across the global small satellite industry, has grown rapidly since its founding in 2018. Simera supplies solutions to global customers in the Earth observation data and service market, which is estimated to be worth USD 12.55 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach USD 20.73 billion by 2029.

Simera Sense will use the investment from NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital to respond to rising client demand and expand its current production capacity, with additional production sites planned in Europe. In addition to strengthening its production and customer support capacity in Europe, the new funding will enable Simera to expand its product development teams. This will fast-track the development of higher-resolution and SWIR camera products.

Another key area of development for Simera Sense is the inclusion of industry-transforming on-board data processing, embedded in the camera control electronics. Already under development, it will be a market first, as data from satellite cameras is typically processed on the ground, stretching bandwidth and creating communication issues.

Johann Du Toit, CEO at Simera Sense, thanked the company’s investors for their support.

‘We’re very pleased with the amount raised and grateful to NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital for choosing to back us. We are looking forward to our journey together,’ he 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’.

‘Satellite imagery has a central role to play in helping us solve problems here on Earth, and the dynamism and growth of the Earth observation and wider space market reflect that.’

‘It’s a very exciting time for the company.’

Bogdan Gogulan, Managing Partner of NewSpace Capital, said:

‘We spent a long time looking at the market for a company with not just the ambition but the expertise to revolutionise Earth observation, and Simera Sense stood out from the crowd.’ 

‘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.’

‘There are also interesting synergies with some other companies in our portfolio.’

‘We are delighted that Simera has chosen NewSpace Capital to lead this round. We appreciate the trust of our co-investors, Knife Capital. We look forward to working together to begin the next chapter in the development of the commercial space.’

Keet van Zyl, Co-Founder and Partner at Knife Capital, added:

‘We are delighted to back the unique combination of a deep technology product suite, a market demand for Simera Sense products and an entrepreneurial team that has a track record of proven execution capabilities in this space.’

‘It has already been a fulfilling journey even during due diligence and closing out the transaction with credible investment partners. Knife Capital is proud to be part of transforming the optical payload solutions industry.’

Simera Sense, which was launched in South Africa and is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, counts AAC Clyde Space, Open Cosmos, Nara Space, OHB Systems AG, and many others among its valued clients.

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

In 2020, in partnership with Open Cosmos, it was selected to be part of the Phi-Sat-2 mission, supported by ESA, providing solutions for an AI-enabled Earth Observation Cubesat.

About Simera Sense

Founded in 2018, Simera Sense is a leading provider of end-to-end earth observation camera solutions for the global small satellite market. Its suite of high-resolution, ‘off-the-shelf’ cameras are used by diverse clients across a wide range of industries. 

Our core team’s passion for space and satellite engineering fuels our mission, along with a firm belief in the transformative power of small, cost-effective satellites.

We have meticulously engineered a suite of cameras that are not only optimally sized but also configurable for diverse missions, all while complying with the leading standardised satellite bus interfaces and data formats.

Find out more: www.simera-sense.com 

About NewSpace Capital 

NewSpace Capital is a leading space-focused Private Equity firm. It invests in growth-stage deep-tech companies benefiting from a large and growing market demand for earth observation, communication solutions and data analytics. NewSpace Capital focuses on enabling supply chain technologies and terrestrial applications. Its team comprises unique investment, commercial and scientific experience in the industry and some of the world’s most prominent research institutions.

NewSpace Capital’s portfolio companies include global deep-tech company Cailabs, leaders in laser communications; ICEYE, which owns and operates the world’s largest constellation of synthetic aperture radar satellites; and Kayrros, the global environmental intelligence company recently named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential by TIME.

Find out more: https://www.newspace.capital/

About Knife Capital 

Knife Capital is a venture capital investment manager that accelerates the international expansion of African innovation-driven businesses by leveraging Knowledge, Networks and Funding. Through its exit-centric business building approach, Knife Capital has delivered high-return exits of South African startups to the likes of General Electric, Visa, Garmin and Uber Eats. Knife Capital continues to advance the credibility of the venture capital asset class in Africa through sustained success in its initiatives and funds under management. It has offices in Cape Town, London and Jersey.

Find out more: www.knifecap.com  

Media contact:

Victoria Pearson
+44 20 7183 1267