Matthew Neville

London space tech trust invests £19m in microsatellite manufacturer

Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC (SSIT), announced it has made a new $25m (approximately £19m) investment into ICEYE Oy, the manufacturer of synthetic aperture radar satellite imaging technology.

The investment has been made in order to enable ICEYE to expand its unique SAR satellite constellation. SSIT first invested in ICEYE in 2017, prior to it launching its first satellite, and has participated in every subsequent ICEYE funding round.

ICEYE has since deployed the “world’s first and largest constellation of miniaturised satellites” that use radar to image the Earth day and night, including through clouds.

ICEYE’s radar technology has the ability to monitor change in near real time with sensitivity and at global scale. The insights this data provides holds potential to help “combat some of the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change”.

For example, ICEYE’s data is used by customers, including governments, to track illegal deforestation in the Amazon, and insurance companies to respond quickly to natural disasters such as floods.

As part of the transaction, James Bruegger, chief investment officer of Seraphim Space LLP, SSIT’s investment manager, has been appointed to the ICEYE Board.

James commented: “The doubling down on our investment in ICEYE reflects our belief in the potential this breakthrough technology will have across maritime, disaster management, insurance, finance, security and intelligence sectors. Life on earth is constantly changing.

“The ability to see and track these changes is key to understanding, predicting and responding to events around us. Satellites that use optical cameras to take images of the Earth have in recent decades spawned the $5bn ‘Earth Observation’ market.

“By using ICEYE radars rather than cameras to take images, it is possible to monitor the Earth, day and night, in all weather conditions and in near real time. This is a real game changer.”

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