Simera Sense to scale operations after R274m funding

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 12 Mar 2024
Johann du Toit, CEO of Simera Sense, and Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital.
Johann du Toit, CEO of Simera Sense, and Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital.

Simera Sense, a South African provider of earth observation camera solutions, has raised €13.5 million (R274 million) in its first growth investment round, from investment firms NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital.

The company offers high-resolution cameras targeting clients across the global satellite industry.

It says it will use the funding to further develop its product range, increase production capacity and accelerate on-board processing capabilities. Simera Sense also plans to add more production sites in Europe.

Simera says since establishment in 2018, it has witnessed tremendous growth, boosted by increasing demand for its solutions globally.

Another key area of development is the inclusion of on-board data processing, embedded in the camera control electronics, it says.

Johann du Toit, CEO of Simera Sense, notes: “We’re very pleased with the amount raised and grateful to NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital for choosing to back us.

“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.”

Satellite imagery has a central role in helping the company solve many challenges on Earth, relating to satellite imagery and geospatial data annotation, says Du Toit.

The earth observation data and service market is estimated to be worth $12.55 billion in 2024, and forecast to reach $20.73 billion by 2029, according to Mordor Intelligence.

Simera Sense was launched in SA and is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. Its clients in the satellite and space industries include AAC Clyde Space, Open Cosmos, Nara Space and OHB Systems AG.

It collaborates with various European institutions and participates in partnerships with other companies to introduce new space initiatives, it points out.

Bogdan Gogulan, managing partner at NewSpace Capital, comments: “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 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.”

Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital, states: “We are thrilled 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.”