South Africa’s Simera Sense raises $14.75 million to boost production capacity

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March 12, 2024
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2 min read
eutelsat satellite
  • Simera Sense, a South African company that offers end-to-end optical payload solutions to the small satellite Earth observation industry, has announced a €13.5 million ($14.75 million) growth investment round. 
  • The company intends to use this investment, led by NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital, to set up additional production facilities in Europe, potentially increasing production capacity by up to five times to meet rising customer demands and expectations.
  • The company will, however, keep its main production facility in the Southern African country. 

Simera Sense, which raised €1.2 million ($1.3 million) in seed capital in 2018, will use the new funding to help it expand its product offering, reduce delivery time, and move on-board processing solutions to the next stage.  

The company is developing innovative on-board data processing for camera control electronics. This will eliminate the bandwidth and communication issues that arise from processing data from satellite cameras on the ground. 

The new capital injection will accelerate the development of this technology, bringing it to market sooner rather than later. 

Simera Sense, founded in 2018 by Johann du Toit, provides a diverse range of high-resolution cameras to clients in the global small satellite industry. Clients from many industries use the cameras frequently. 

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Since its launch, the company asserts to have maintained an active presence in Europe, supplying and collaborating with several stakeholders, including AAC Clyde Space, Open Cosmos, OHB Systems, and the European Space Agency. 

On the funding, “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,” du Toit says. 

According to the CEO, Simera Sense's current production capacity is around 25 payloads per year, in addition to 30–40 engineering and test models. He states that the company plans to increase its output to 200 payloads per year in various configurations.

Consequently, the company plans to double its development team over the next two years. It stated that this will enable closer and more effective integration with critical material and component suppliers in Europe, as well as more efficient collaboration with product development partners.


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