Hydrosat closes another $10M in funding for ground temperature analytics product

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hydrosatGeospatial data startup, has secured $10 million in seed funding to accelerate the commercialization of its ground temperature analytics product.

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The company aims to collect surface temperature data using satellites equipped with infrared sensors. This data, which it will sell as a subscription data analytics product, could be used to better understand water stress, wildfire risk and drought – three factors that all remain very accurate as we California’s driest years on record come to an end and one of the most historic fire seasons in the western U.S.

Hydrosat is designed for continuous collection, which means that each satellite will continuously monitor whatever part of the Earth it is flying over, which relieves the satellite from the need to function to monitor a specific area.

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“For a lot of our use cases, in environmental monitoring, in agriculture and forestry, it is very beneficial because we have the data stored in the library for retrieval, so that it can be used either that day or the next week or the next. years, sometime in the future,” Hydrosat CEO Peter Fossel said in a recent interview.

Fossell said the decision to get the money soon after closing a $5 million financing round in June was “opportunity-driven.” “We are associated with a really great group, OTB Ventures, which is based in Europe, and has funded other major companies in our space, most notably ICEYE, the radar satellite company.”

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“So, for us, this was really an opportunity and opportunity to work with this new investor, in addition to the support we got from our existing investor syndicate,” he said.

The additional funding will be used to launch Hydrosat’s commercial subscription analysis product early next year and to fully explore its first satellite mission, which it will begin with space services provider Loft Orbital in the second half of next year. . The startup will also be able to significantly increase its workforce as it aims to accelerate the market.

Along with the funding news, Hydrosat revealed that it is working with Swiss multinational technology company ABB to build thermal infrared equipment that goes into space. ABB has built imagers and sensors for NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and commercial companies. An ABB-built infrared imager is currently aboard GHGsat, a spacecraft operated by the company of the same name to detect and measure greenhouse gas emissions.

The startup is also partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology—which calibrates thermal infrared data—from the NASA Landsat program for data calibration. Securing contracts with companies and institutions that already have impressive track records with the government will likely be the key to success for Hydrosat with government customers.

Hydrosat has already signed contracts with the European Space Agency and three SBIR contracts with the US Air Force and the Department of Defense. As part of a contract with the Air Force, Hydrosat flew the first generation imager to the edge of space on a high-altitude balloon in New Mexico, an important technical milestone for the company that saw it collect thermal infrared imagery. Allowed, processed it and calibrated it accurately.

Hydrosat is also targeting the commercial sector. Fossell said the startup has already signed agreements with companies in the agriculture and environment sectors, though he declined to give further details.

While the startup still has a mid-term goal of launching a 16-satellite constellation, Fossell said the size of the constellation isn’t as important as the frequency of data the company delivers. A better way to understand the mid-term target is the frequency of data collection, which Hydrosat seeks to scale to daily thermal infrared imagery anywhere on Earth. “That’s the medium-term target, and the size of the constellation is what enables us to meet it.”

This latest funding round was led by OTB Ventures. Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Santa Barbara Venture Partners and Xeon Capital also participated.

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