ICEYE raises $136m, aims to expand Nat Cat Insights product

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ICEYE, a provider of satellite data and services to inform decision-making and analysis, has raised a $136 million Series B investment round and intends to spend some of the funds on building out its range of natural catastrophe focused products for the insurance and reinsurance sector.

iceye-satellite-imageICEYE has been working with insurance and reinsurance market players, providing satellite imagery, data and importantly interpretation and analysis insights, to help them better understand the impacts of global weather and catastrophe events.

In addition, ICEYE has also announced some partnerships with a parametric risk transfer focus, not least an arrangement focused on developing better parametric flood insurance triggers with parametric underwriting specialist Descartes.

The $136 million raised is a significant sum and will be put to work in expanding ICEYE’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, which is the world’s largest, as well as expanding its Natural Catastrophe (NatCat) Insights and Solutions offering.

Long-standing ICEYE investor Seraphim Space led the funding round, while new strategic investors including BAE Systems and Kajima Ventures participated.

In addition, Molten Ventures, OTB Ventures, True Ventures, C16 Ventures, Chione Ltd, Services Group of America, the UK’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), Space Capital and Promus Ventures also provided some of the funding.

Since 2015, ICEYE has now raised a total of $304 million in financing and owns and operates the world’s largest constellation of SAR satellites, with 16 satellite missions successfully launched since its first-ever spacecraft was placed into orbit only four years ago.

Next, ICEYE intends to reduce the time to access and increase the visiting frequency of its satellites, which is critical in their use in natural catastrophe scenarios, where the regularity of data and imagery is key for re/insurers and also insurance-linked securities (ILS) managers.

These insights and images can help in deriving a rapid assessment of how bad or impactful a catastrophe loss event could be, helping to inform hedging and portfolio decisions, while also enabling clear communications to be provided to investors and stakeholders.

At the same time, ICEYE wants to expand its Natural Catastrophe solutions offering, while also enhancing its analytics services, which include artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Access to accurate, timely, regular and importantly high-resolution imagery and data insights based on it will in future be vital tools for any company deploying risk capital into weather, catastrophe and climate related exposures.

As a result, we anticipate services such as ICEYE offers becoming increasingly important to the marketplace.

We’ve been writing about the importance of satellite and remote sensing in risk transfer for more than a decade and while it has been important for all that time, the new generations of technology and machinery in space promise to deliver unparalleled insights, with far greater frequency and accuracy than before, making them much more useful inputs to risk transfer decision-making and management.

“Our entire ICEYE team has built a solid reputation by delivering concrete results to our customers with unmatched timelines and quality of service,” Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE explained. “We are proud of that track record, and we intend to build and improve upon it. With this new funding round, we’ll be able to continue expanding our operations and further develop our NatCat solutions which is an important focus area to accelerate our growth.”

“ICEYE has gone from strength-to-strength since we first invested in the company in 2017. We’ve watched the company prove the impossible, possible by launching the world’s first miniaturised SAR satellite capable of imaging the planet day and night, to now having grown into being the world’s largest operator of SAR imaging satellites,” added James Bruegger, Chief Investment Officer of Seraphim Space (Manager) LLP. “As the world’s leading specialist investor focused on the New Space ecosystem, we have identified ICEYE as one of the sector’s brightest stars. We anticipate that its global scale persistent monitoring of the planet will have a major impact in helping address some of our most pressing challenges.”

“This round of funding shows the confidence our new and returning investors have in ICEYE and ensures the company will continue on its path for growth,” Susan Repo, Chief Financial Officer at ICEYE also commented. “We are proud of our ability to meet our customers at their point of need, and this financing will help us continue to do exactly that.”

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