South African Simera Sense Secures $14.8M in New Funding for Growth

The South Africa-based Simera Sense, a global leader in providing end-to-end optical payload solutions to the small satellite Earth observation industry, has raised EUR13.5 million (US$14.8 million) to help it develop its product range, increase production, and accelerate on-board processing capabilities.

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. 

In its first major fundraise, the company has banked EUR13.5 million (US$14.8 million) in 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.

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,” said Johann Du Toit, CEO at Simera Sense.

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.

Bogdan Gogulan, managing partner of NewSpace Capital, said his firm had spent a long time looking at the market for a company with the ambition and 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,” he said.

Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital, said he was 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”.

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,” he said.


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