Munich-based OroraTech has raised €15 million in a Series A extension round that will see the company launch its second thermal-infrared camera into space, thereby expanding its operational capacity and climate solutions portfolio.
The Series A extension was led by Belgium’s Edaphon alongside existing investors including Findus Venture, Ananda Impact Ventures, BayernKapital, ConActivity, APEX Ventures, SpaceTec Capital, and industry experts Ingo Baumann and Clemens Kaiser. A non-dilutive portion of the round was co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Free State of Bavaria.
Leveraging space-based thermal-infrared observing capabilities, OroraTech’s first offer to the market is a Wildfire Intelligence solution that uses existing third-party data for wildfire detection and monitoring and is used by clients including the US Forest Service, the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, and ttg Brasil, detecting over 100,000 fires daily and protecting more than 160 million hectares of forest on six continents.
However, according to the startup, wildfire detection is only the beginning of its journey as they’ve begun establishing partnerships with data analytics companies, industry solution providers, and other tangential institutions. A future use case could potentially involve urban heat island monitoring and mapping for better heat wave prediction and cooling degree day estimation.
While there are other space-based climate observation and insights operators out there, OroraTech’s thermal-infrared camera is able to see the unseen world by providing data in two optical bands, long-wave-infrared (LWIR) and medium-wave-infrared (MWIR).
The LWIR thermal-infrared camera can be used to monitor the ambient temperature of an object (about -30 to +80°C), However, in the case of radically higher temperatures, i.e. fire, OroraTech uses the MWIR band allowing hot objects to be determined exceptionally well.
The end goal at OroraTech is to assemble a constellation of 100 cameras in space that will then be capable of delivering recurring insights on a global scale every 30 minutes.
"I am very proud of what we have achieved within a year - launching our first camera in space that has outperformed our own expectations and has no equivalent in the world,” commented OroraTech CEO Thomas Grübler.