The Intersection of Space Tech, Sustainability & SatVu: A Founder’s Perspective

The Intersection of Space Tech, Sustainability & SatVu

A Founder’s Perspective

12 November 2023

With 25 years of experience in the industry, SatVu’s founder and CEO Anthony Baker, shares a journey that led to the establishment of SatVu. The company’s roots lie in Anthony’s pursuit of satellite technology. SatVu’s inception was inspired by the need to expand global connectivity and evolved into a mission to tackle issues like pollution, supply chains, and security.

Challenges and Opportunities

The merger of space technology with sustainability goals comes with its unique set of challenges and opportunities. The absence of adequate regulation and the prevalence of greenwashing makes it difficult to discern genuine efforts from false claims.

“SatVu can bridge this gap by providing data that can verify environmental practices and supply chain transparency.”

This approach can lead to more meaningful sustainability efforts by individuals and businesses, particularly in terms of carbon footprints.

Darwin, Australia: This imagery delivers unprecedented access to heat island insights within local environmental planning. Darwin, Australia: This imagery delivers unprecedented access to heat island insights within local environmental planning. 

Growth and Expansion

“SatVu has been experiencing significant growth, notably expanding its headcount.” Anthony believes this expansion can be attributed to its diverse applications, such as monitoring solar farms, industrial activities, and supply chains. The ability to spot inefficiencies and provide data to support more eco-friendly decisions appeals to a broad audience. However, focusing on the most promising applications and partnerships is an ongoing challenge for the company.


Funding and Investment

Anthony reveals that SatVu’s approach to securing funding involved leveraging the dual appeal of space and climate. To date, SatVu has secured a total of £30.5 million ($37.9 million) in Venture Capital funding. With the satellite transitioning into its operational phase, SatVu’s focus has now shifted to converting Early Access Programme customers into revenue bookings, bringing novel datasets to market, and building a scalable organisational structure.

With the successful launch and start of commercial service complete, SatVu anticipates embarking on a Series B fundraising round in Q1 2024 to propel the growth of their satellite constellation, enabling high-frequency thermal monitoring at scale.

Their initial funding was from Seraphim Space, a VC dedicated to financing the growth of companies operating in the space ecosystem. Seraphim Space is an ambitious team with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences in Venture. Collectively they have over 100 years’ experience, investing in over 180 early and growth stage businesses, returning more than £750 million to their shareholders. They work closely with their portfolio companies and always strive to create meaningful value and endeavour to ensure that the full value of their network and partners is utilised. The company successfully attracted investors from both domains, aligning their goals with investors who recognised the potential of SatVu’s data in addressing climate and security challenges. Future funding rounds will be directed towards scaling efficiently and achieving breakeven, ensuring the company’s sustainable growth.


HotSat-1 and Expansion

HOTSAT-1, named in homage to its cutting-edge thermal imaging capabilities, was launched into orbit in June aboard a SpaceX rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 “As we receive the First Light imagery from HOTSAT-1, we are thrilled to announce the transition of our thermal imaging satellite into commercial operation. This milestone not only reflects the dedication and hard work of our entire team but also underscores our commitment to using advanced technology for the betterment of our planet”.

SatVu is planning to launch seven additional satellites, with the second one already in construction and more to follow. This expansion will significantly enhance data acquisition capabilities and increase satellite revisit frequency. The company is focusing on scaling sensibly while ensuring that commercial traction is achieved before further expansion.

Chicago: The technology discerns locomotive thermal signatures and train speeds, offering crucial data for transportation and logistics optimisation.


Global Reach and Accessibility

SatVu’s solutions have a global reach, making them relevant in regions vulnerable to environmental challenges. Governments and analytics companies are primary users of SatVu’s data, using it to monitor industrial activities and gain supply chain transparency.


“By offering insights from space that connect day and night data, I believe SatVu can make their data accessible and valuable to various user groups.”

Wildfire Canada: The smoky aftermath, portrayed in a light blue hue, showcases the scorched terrain left in the fires’ devastating wake. 

For Comparison: Wildfire image from Sentinel-2

Business Goals and Aspirations

SatVu’s primary goals in the coming year revolve around scaling efficiently and ensuring commercial traction. The company is focused on launching additional satellites and achieving breakeven. Their long-term aspirations include expanding their applications and analytics capabilities, allowing users who are not space-savvy to harness their unique insights for better decision-making.


Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

For aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create a positive impact through technology and sustainability ventures, Anthony emphasises tenacity.

 “Persistence in pursuing solutions, even when challenges seem impossible, is essential.”

The journey may involve years of exploration and humble learning, but belief in one’s capacity to solve problems is crucial. Seeking mentorship and adapting to different investor perspectives can also be instrumental in finding success in the sustainability space.


Closing Thoughts

The trajectory of space technology in addressing sustainability challenges is promising, and Anthony believes that SatVu is determined to play its part in shaping this future. He sees continued growth, expansion, and ongoing challenges in executing their mission, underlining the ongoing significance and interest in the space technology field.