German asset monitoring start-up to expand globally with $6.35m fund

LiveEO, a German-based Earth Observation asset monitoring technology start-up, has secured €5.25 million ($6.35 million) in funding to expand its operations globally.

The Series A investment has been secured from venture capital firms btov Partners, Helen Ventures, DvH Ventures, and Motu Ventures as well as from deep technology investor Andreas Kupke.

Daniel Seidel, co-founder of LiveEO, said: “This funding round is a huge milestone for LiveEO. Over the last 3 years we’ve built up a unique technology stack to analyze earth observation data at scale and we now can realize many new revolutionary features on the basis of this tech backbone.”

LiveEO combines data acquired from satellite imagery and from other sources and then uses artificial intelligence to analyse the data to monitor critical infrastructures such as railways, electricity grids and pipelines.

The startup has plans to introduce their technology in other sectors including construction, mining, insurance, forestry, agriculture and finance.

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The technology helps infrastructure operators and managers to identify external threats through optimal monitoring. This development would then help them reduce operational expenses and improve the performance of their assets. 

Infrastructure operators are able to access data regarding their assets via LiveEO’s web and mobile portals.

Sven Przywarra, LiveEO’s other co-founder, said his firm will use the funding to expand the company’s sales and business development team as part of efforts to increase the number of international customers using space-based technology.

Przywarra added that they will “aim for the market leadership position in the utility market, and start the expansion into the US and adjacent markets.”

Today, LiveEO has more than 30 grid operators as their customers including multiple E.ON subsidiaries e.dis, Bayernwerk (Germany), Tensio TS AS (Norway), E-Redes (former EDP, Portugal) and pipeline operators such as Gascade (Germany). The startup also has Deutsche Bahn (Europe’s biggest railway operator) as its customer.

Today, LiveEO has already analyzed infrastructure grids with a combined length of more than 1 million kilometers.

Currently, the monitoring process for outdoor yet critical assets is scarcely digitized and relies heavily on manual inspection processes, which makes it slow and expensive, and increases the risk for various damages from power outages to wildfires and leakages hence the need to invest in AI-based and digital asset monitoring technologies.

Dr Terhi Vapola, head of Helen Ventures, said monitoring of large scale assets from space is a brand new industry.

Vapota added: “We will gain valuable insights on how earth observation services can be used in the energy sector in the future.”

The European Space Agency through its ESA Space Solutions has supported LiveEO with nearly €800,000 ($950.900) in funding to develop the earth obervation technology.

During the last decade, the miniaturisation of satellites and cheaper access to space has triggered a hardware revolution resulting in an advanced satellite-based earth observation data infrastructure. Now the industry is undergoing a second revolution where software companies are utilising these data streams for monitoring every square metre on earth.