When it comes to geospatial and mapping information and how it is used by organizations, satellites play a vital role when it comes to obtaining raw data. But getting that raw data into a form that can be used by enterprises is a different story. Today, LiveEO, a Berlin-based startup that built a satellite analytics platform to do just that, has raised 19 million euros ($19.5 million) from companies working on transportation and energy infrastructure to capitalize on strong interest in the technology.
The addition of companies such as LiveEO comes on the back of a rapid commercialization period for use in space, witnessed by companies such as SpaceX, but others build, for example, themselves a new wave of satellites. As with the big opportunity in enterprise IT, big data players like LiveEO are essentially the second wave of that development: applications powering that infrastructure.
“One has to build applications for end users to make it easy to use that data and integrate it into processes,” says Daniel Seid (left), who co-founded and runs LiveEO with Sven Przywarra (right). “That’s what we’re doing in moderation.”
MMC Ventures is leading the Series B investment, and in addition to €17M of venture capital, the round includes support from two public entities: the European Commission and Investmentbank Berlin. Previous backers Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures), Helen Ventures, Matterwave and Motu Ventures, and new backers Segenia Capital and Hannover Digital Investments (HDInv) are participating. LiveEO previously raised €5.25 million in Series A in 2021, during which time it has tripled revenue with customers on five continents and more than doubled its headcount to 100, more than half of whom are engineers and data scientists.
As a German start-up, LiveEO is one of a small but growing group of start-ups in Europe that have seen growing interest in the space among investors in recent years, despite widespread pressure on tech finance. Relatively speaking, the sums are still modest compared to other technology sectors: according to LiveEO, this 19 million euro round is one of the largest in Earth observation technology in Europe. LiveEO is focused on the enterprise, especially for its analytics industry applications – even given its geopolitical landscape, and it will be interesting to see how that brings in a new host of interested parties playing the role of finance professionals to drive growth.
The LiveEO platform bridges the unique gap between space technology and enterprise data. Satellites are collectively producing more information about our world than ever before, covering not only physical objects in minute detail, but also temperature trends, how systems move, and more.
Surprisingly, much of that information is very closed when it comes to using it for enterprises: given the fragmentation in the satellite industry, the data is often not only in raw form, but also comes from multiple sources, so finding it in forms that can be integrated into existing IT systems and especially (and more sophisticated) IT systems Many industrial deployments are integrated into the infrastructure that is building – not to mention the analysis of insights – are all lengthy tasks, so the opportunities to carry them out often go unnoticed.
The core of the company’s platform brings all of this together, in what LiveEO describes as “an infrastructure tracking suite powered by satellite imagery.” This involves taking Earth observation data produced by satellites and applying AI to it to analyze it in a context that LiveEO’s industrial clients – which include major rail companies such as Deutsche Bahn or energy company e.on – need to better understand.
That may include information about accidents at plants on railways or other lines; Land degradation; or other physical activities or activities; And that includes the ability for the LiveEO user to integrate this information directly with their own IT management systems for their infrastructure, for example to ensure that the systems they monitor are working as intended. It also makes the solution even greener: using satellites to get the kind of geographic data these industrial applications need means there’s no need to use ground teams and vehicles in other ways.
“One of the great benefits of satellite data is that we don’t need to install hardware on the infrastructure,” Przywara said.
They believe that data is also more complete: According to Seidel, the combination of terabytes of data from multiple sources is not only 3D, but “4D” – available in temperature and other details, “like the difference between an image from a smartphone and using a high-resolution camera.”
All of this is still a relatively new field, Przywara added. “Before Google Earth, satellite maps were only used by experts,” he said. “We’re getting more non-experts to use satellite data. We make it accessible and usable.
Leading Investor MMC is one of Europe’s most prominent deep technology investors, and their focus in this area is noteworthy.
“We are thrilled to lead this round for LiveEO and it reflects MMC’s continued focus on companies developing new data sets and AI analytics,” Andrey Dvornik, principal at MMC Ventures, said in a statement. “LiveEO provides a critical tool that paves the way for sustainable industrial automation, and we wholeheartedly support the company’s vision to leverage satellite technologies, big data and the latest advances in artificial intelligence to help companies adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.”