A satellite data company that rocketed onto the start-up scene four years ago can now double its team and continue helping companies access and integrate Earth-observation information after raising $4-million in additional seed investment in early 2018.
Many companies can benefit from getting a bird’s eye view by using satellite data of the Earth to complement other available information. But there is typically an extensive and time-consuming process that companies must undertake to obtain the data and incorporate it into the intended application.
Winning the NASA Space Apps Challenge in 2014 with their original solution designed to observe and map cosmic events, SkyWatch adapted the platform to capture satellite images of the Earth with the realization of the potential for quickly sharing satellite information. Through its distribution platform EarthCache, companies are able to access and effectively integrate satellite data into their applications. The cloud-based platform enables users to build applications or algorithms with an easy-to-use code builder. Then, a few lines of code can be used to integrate data into the application, as well as specify filters to notify users on specific areas of interest.
“Because Earth observation data has the potential to positively impact everyday life in so many ways, everyone should have the ability to easily incorporate this unique data type into their software applications. However, the barriers have been far too high, until now. SkyWatch was started with this vision and we’ve spent the past three years developing our platform alongside our early adopters,” says James Slifierz, co-founder and CEO of SkyWatch.
With SmartStart seed funding in 2016, the OCE-supported SkyWatch was able to expand its satellite data application giving it global commercial potential while demonstrating its use in different sectors and industries. The funding has also helped the company expand into two offices, in Waterloo and New York City, and grow to 20 employees.
The market for data and services relating to the observation of Earth has grown, and is predicted to continue expanding over the next decade. With the potential to offer the datasets to developers around the world, SkyWatch is able to attract new customers in a wide range of sectors. The $4-million CAD in additional seed funding will be used to make strategic hires, accelerate product development and build partnerships. SkyWatch is currently in negotiations regarding distribution rights with more than 30 satellite operators to service customers across agriculture, energy, finance, infrastructure, market intelligence and many other industries.
to read the previous success story about SkyWatch.