Finnish Earth observation company Kuva Space has successfully raised €16.6 million ($17.85 million) in funding.
Kuva Space said in a statement on last Thursday that the funding round was led by existing investors Voima Ventures and Nordic Foodtech VC, with Singapore-based Earth VC also participating.
The round also includes Finnish private investors through a Finland-based growth funding initiative with Springvest and non-equity funding from Business Finland.
The company said it will use the capital to accelerate the development of its patented hyperspectral camera and space technology, double its team size, and launch its artificial intelligence (AI) analytics platform.
With its recently established presence in the United States, Kuva Space aims to tap into new opportunities with the U.S. Department of Defense and commercial opportunities and broaden its market reach.
According to the statement, hyperspectral satellites for marine environments are a significant technological development for security actors, and the global defense geospatial market was valued at $126.4 billion as of 2022.
Another key expansion area is the aquaculture carbon credit market, an essential nature-based solution to combat climate change.
Kuva Space is developing AI-based models of above- and underwater monitoring of aquaculture vegetation through pilots in Europe and Africa to measure carbon sequestration accurately from, among others, kelp forests and farms.
The blue carbon market holds significant promise, with global demand for carbon credits expected to reach up to $50 billion by 2030.
The first one, Hyperfield-1, is scheduled to launch in June 2024. This will mark the initial stage of Kuva Space’s planned constellation, which aims to deploy up to 100 satellites by 2030.
With local representation in Finland, Japan, Belgium, the United States, and the United Kingodm, Kuva Space has raised €22.5 million ($24.2 milion) in total funding from Morrow Portfolio, Voima Ventures, Nordic Foodtech VC, Earth VC, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and public funding from ESA Philab and Business Finland.
“We firmly believe that quality and timely spaceborne insights will empower communities to make informed decisions and create a sustainable future,
“With this funding round, we are well-equipped to accelerate our satellite launches, enhance our AI analytics platform with proprietary data, and further our market expansion, particularly in the United States,” said Jarkko Antila, Chief Executive Officer of Kuva Space
According to the statement, Kuva Space’s commercial microsatellite, equipped with a patented hyperspectral camera, can distinguish nearly any material on earth and its condition through its distinct spectral signature.
By leveraging its AI-driven analytics platform, Kuva Space automatically transforms the collected data into actionable insights, empowering customers to monitor, identify, and forecast changes and their impact in near real-time.
This approach helps organizations make financially smarter and environmentally responsible decisions to improve food security, defense, safety, and carbon sequestration credibility.
Unlike existing earth observation solutions, where images are delivered based on individual customer requests, Kuva Space will provide a near real-time monitoring tool as a subscription service.
The business model, built around daily hyperspectral observations and an advanced AI analytics platform, will change how customers, especially non-space firms, use spaceborne data to execute ESG strategies, launch new products, and boost productivity.
“As an early investor, we have been big believers of Kuva Space’s pioneering work both in defense applications, as well as improving upon how we track and measure society’s environmental impact,” said Inka Mero, chairwoman of Kuva Space board, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Voima Ventures, known for its strategic investments in groundbreaking Nordic deep tech companies.
Meanwhile, Nordic Foodtech VC Partner Jari Tuovinen said that the exceptional technology of Kuva Space enables a step change in resource-efficient farming and in monitoring and mitigating the environmental impacts of global food production.
According to him, the funding adds to two key company developments this year, with the company being awarded the NATO Arctic Challenge Innovation winner and a €5 million ($5.38 million) commercial contract from the European Commission to be the sole provider of hyperspectral data services for the Copernicus program.