When it comes to geospatial and mapping data and how it is used by organizations, satellites continue to play a critical role in obtaining the underlying information. However, getting that raw data into a usable state for enterprises is a different story. Today a Berlin startup called LiveEOwhich built a satellite analytics platform to do just that, has raised €19 million ($19.5 million) amid strong demand for its technology from transport and energy infrastructure companies.
The rise of companies like LiveEO comes against the backdrop of a period of rapid commercialization of infrastructure designed for use in space, characterized by companies like SpaceX and others creating, for example, a new wave of the satellites themselves. As with broader capabilities in enterprise IT, big data players like LiveEO are essentially the second wave of this development: applications built using this infrastructure.
“Someone needs to build applications for end users to really make it easy to use and integrate this data into processes,” explained Daniel Seidel (left), co-founder and co-lead of LiveEO with Sven Przyvarra (right). “That’s what we do at scale.”
MMC Ventures is leading the Series B investment, and in addition to the €17 million in venture capital, the round also includes support from two public authorities, the European Commission and Investitionsbank Berlin. Previous sponsors Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures), Helen Ventures, Matterwave and motu Ventures, as well as new sponsors Segenia Capital and Hannover Digital Investments (HDInv) are also participating. LiveEO previously raised €5.25M in Series A in 2021 and said it has tripled its revenue from clients across five continents and more than doubled its headcount to around 100 people, with more than half of them engineers in that time. and data scientists.
As a German startup, LiveEO is one of a small but growing group of startups in Europe benefiting from growing interest in space among investors in recent years despite increased pressure on technology funding. Relatively speaking, the amounts are still modest compared to other technology areas: LiveEO reports that this €19 million round is one of the largest in Earth observation technology in Europe. LiveEO is focused on enterprises, in particular industrial applications for its analytics – although given the geopolitical landscape and how it is attracting new stakeholders playing the role of financiers to facilitate its growth, it will be interesting to see how this develops.
The LiveEO platform bridges a certain gap between space technology and enterprise data. The satellites are collectively producing more data about our world than ever before, covering not only physical objects in great detail, but also thermal evolution, system motion, and more.
Ironically, a lot of this data is highly classified when it comes to the businesses using it: given the fragmentation in the satellite industry itself, not only is the data often in very raw formats, it also comes from multiple sources, so getting it into forms, that can be integrated into existing IT systems, and especially (and more difficultly) IT systems that integrate with the infrastructure that is the building block of many industrial deployments, not to mention parsing it for information, are all complex tasks, so that the possibilities of their implementation often remain unrealized.
The core of the company’s platform brings it all together in what LiveEO describes as a “satellite imagery-based infrastructure monitoring package.” This includes collecting earth observation data from satellites and applying AI to it to analyze it in the context of what LiveEO’s industrial customers want to understand, including major railroad companies such as Deutsche Bahn or energy company e.on.
This may include data on risks associated with vegetation on railways or other lines; soil deformation; or other physical movements or activities; and this also includes the ability for a LiveEO user to directly integrate this data to communicate with their own IT management systems for their infrastructure, such as those that monitor systems, to ensure they are working properly. The company is also positioning its solution as greener: Using satellites to get the geographic data needed by these industrial applications means there is no need to use ground crews and vehicles to get it in other ways.
“One of the big advantages of satellite data is that we don’t need to install hardware in the infrastructure itself,” Pshiwarra said.
This data, in their opinion, is also more complete: as Seidel describes it, the combination of terabytes of data from several sources means that it is not just 3D, but “4D” – with thermal and other kinds of detail available, “like the difference between using an image from a smartphone and a high-end, high-resolution camera.”
All this is also still a relatively new area, Przywarra added. “Before Google Earth, satellite maps were only used by experts,” he said. “We are empowering more non-specialists to use satellite data. We make it affordable and easy to use.”
Lead Investor MMC is one of the most prominent deep tech investors in Europe and it is notable that they are focusing on this area as an opportunity.
“We are thrilled to be leading this round for LiveEO and it reflects MMC’s continued focus on new datasets and companies that are developing AI analytics to support core business decisions,” Andrey Dvornik, head of MMC Ventures, said in a statement. “LiveEO offers a critical tool that paves the way for sustainable industry automation, and we fully support the company’s vision of using satellite technology, big data, and the latest in AI to help companies adapt to the challenges of climate change.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /