Simera Sense Raises EUR 13.5 Million for Expansion Plans

Sen becomes a Simera Sense long term partner

South African NewSpace company, Simera Sense, providing end-to-end optical payloads for the small satellite Earth observation industry, has raised EUR13.5 million in a recent growth investment round. The funding was led by NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital.

Simera Sense offers off-the-shelf high-resolution cameras ready for use by clients across the global small satellite industry. This funding round marks a crucial milestone for Simera Sense, which intends to develop its product range further, expand production capacity, accelerate on-board processing capabilities to meet rising client demand and proceed with an additional production facility in Europe to increase capacity by five times. However, Simera Sense’s main production facility will remain in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

According to Johann du Toit, CEO and co-founder of Simera Sense, “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. We’ll be looking immediately to increase our production capacity to meet client demand and bring the delivery time down further while taking the development of our onboard data processing solutions to the next stage. Satellite imagery has a central role in helping us solve problems here on Earth, and the dynamism and growth of the Earth observation and wider space market reflect that. It’s a very exciting time for the company.”

He further added, “Our current production capacity is about 25 payloads plus an additional 30-40 engineering and test models per year. We wish to scale to 150 to 200 payloads per year of multiple configurations.” The company is looking to double its development team over the next two years to enable closer and more effective integration with key material and component suppliers in Europe and better collaboration with partners involved in product development.

In 2020, Simera Sense opened an office in Leuven, Belgium, to assist the company’s growth, better support its international customers, and be closer to its key suppliers. The company has been very active in Europe, supplying and collaborating with various stakeholders, including AAC Clyde Space, Open Cosmos, OHB Systems, and the European Space Agency.

Another key area of development for Simera Sense is the inclusion of onboard data processing embedded in the camera control electronics. Already under development, it will be a market first. The extra funding will help the company fast-track the development of higher-resolution and more advanced short-wave infrared camera products.

This funding round is the company’s first fundraising effort since it was set up with a seed capital of EUR 1.2 million in 2018.

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