Space-based thermal-infrared data intelligence firm OroraTech just raised €15 million for its approach to tackling the climate crisis. The Munich-born startup now plans to continue expanding internationally, protecting the planet with space-based tech.
The battle against rising temperatures on earth is increasing in intensity and innovative tech is proving to be our best weapon. Since 2015, the global aim has been to keep the temperature rise within 1.5° C, but, after COP27 it’s apparent that this goal won’t be achieved. Now, we have to adapt and generate new ideas and solutions.
With the earth heating up, we can expect more natural disasters, corresponding financial problems, and an affront to life as we know it.
OroraTech, a Munich-born startup, is working on a solution to provide actionable insights into the planet’s temperature using space-based thermal-infrared data intelligence. The startup has just secured new funding and is preparing to launch its second camera into space in 2023.
- €15 million raised in a Series A extension round
- The funding was led by the Belgium-based climate impact fund Edaphon
- Existing investors Findus Venture, Ananda Impact Ventures, BayernKapital, ConActivity, APEX Ventures, SpaceTec Capital, and industry experts Ingo Baumann and Clemens Kaiser also participated
- The round was extended by non-dilutive co-funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Free State of Bavaria
Thermal intelligence for a sustainable planet
Founded in 2018 in Munich, OroraTech is using thermal-infrared data intelligence to provide actionable insights into the state of the earth’s climate.
While the earth’s temperature rises, the planet is suffering and climate action is now more urgent than ever before, as it becomes clear we are not reaching the goals we need to be hitting.
Increasingly, innovators are turning to space to find solutions to the climate problem, and space-based tech is proving promising in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Earth observation (EO) technology is making energy production more efficient. Information from ground sensors in combination with EO data is helping to improve air quality and forest health, and perform carbon credit verification for forest owners.
With a vision to use thermal intelligence for a sustainable earth, OroraTech launched its pioneering uncooled thermal-infrared camera in 2022, leveraging it to provide actionable insights to clients worldwide. Currently, the startup is using this tech for its Wildfire Intelligence Solution which leverages third-party data for wildfire detection and monitoring. It’s used by clients worldwide, detecting over 100,000 fires daily and protecting more than 160 million hectares of forest on six continents.
Each year wildfires emit 17-20 per cent of the world’s total carbon emissions and cause an estimated $10 billion of insured damages. This severely impacts the possibility of achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) related to biodiversity, water, health, land life, and climate.
Joost Van Laer, Edaphon investment manager: “We support companies that have the potential to create a positive impact on the environment at a large scale. We were impressed by OroraTech’s first commercial Wildfire Intelligence Solution and the team’s great qualities and complementarity, as well as their ambition to continue developing high-impact solutions over the coming years.”
OroraTech is the first commercial company to have a thermal-infrared camera in space and the German company is establishing itself as a leading player in this space. OroraTech’s thermal-infrared camera shows the unseen world by providing data in two optical bands: long-wave-infrared (LWIR) and medium-wave-infrared (MWIR). LWIR is used as a commercial thermal-infrared camera; it captures the ambient temperature of an object (about -30 to +80°C). However, different extreme events, like fire, are scorching hot. So OroraTech also uses the MWIR band allowing hot objects to be determined exceptionally well against low-temperature.
As a result of the growing market demand for thermal-infrared data insights, OroraTech is already partnering with data analytics companies, industry solution providers, and institutions. For example, urban heat island monitoring and mapping for better heat wave prediction and cooling degree day estimation and industry activity monitoring for plume detection and gas flare volume estimation.
Due to its proprietary design, the camera does not require cooling, which saves significant costs and outperforms IoT-sensors on the ground and drones in the air. The system is also equipped with AI-based onboard processing capabilities and inter-satellite communication to analyze the data in space and deliver insights in real-time.
By 2026, the startup aims to have launched 100 cameras into space, delivering recurring insights globally every 30 minutes.
Headquartered in Munich, Germany, in 2022, OroraTech expanded its footprint with experts in US, Canada and Luxembourg. With this new funding, OroraTech will expand its climate solutions portfolio by launching its second thermal-infrared camera in space in May 2023.
Thomas Grübler, CEO of OroraTech, says: “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. The new funding will allow us to launch our second camera and accelerate our expansion strategy to different use cases. OroraTech’s fast growth is also appreciated by the investor community – I am thrilled to welcome on-board our new investor – Edaphon. Together with our existing investors and industry experts, we will fast-track OroraTech’s ambition to take the planet’s Earth temperature every 30 minutes and deliver thermal-infrared insights for transparency and better decision-making.”