EDINBURGH (ConstellR PR) — German thermal remote sensing specialist, Constellr, has acquired Belgian hyperspectral firm ScanWorld, in a first for Europe’s emerging agricultural Earth Observation (EO) sector. The transaction will enable an unprecedented planetary health monitoring service and represents a pioneering step for fusing technological capabilities in the sector.
The acquisition of ScanWorld will accelerate Constellr’s plans to become the European market leader in ‘beyond-visual’ data services – starting with thermal monitoring – for smart farming. New use cases range from irrigation optimisation to soil organic carbon assessment and beyond. ScanWorld’s world class hyperspectral product development know-how augments constellr’s thermal infrared and data processing capabilities. These existing and future proprietary datasets will help the company further leverage and augment the value of public programmes such as Landsat and Copernicus.
The high quality and revisit of this combined data will bridge gaps in current data streams and allow for advanced data integration and fusion. “We believe there is no current provider able to bring this joint imaging and analytics capacity to the market in the timescales that we can. This is a game-changer for the sector.” says Max Gulde, CEO of Constellr.
This new fusion of technologies unlocks a range of potential use cases from enhancing crop yield by better understanding the varying influences of stress at different growth phases to optimizing fertilization practices through a more detailed look at the relation between growth phase, root water uptake and nitrate supply. Critically, the acquisition brings the company closer to addressing the emerging global need for soil quality monitoring, at scale, unlocking a more innovative, climate-resilient agri-food supply chain.
“Our team is delighted to take the collaboration to a new level, leveraging our highly complementary technologies to enter new markets and offer wide-ranging benefits to Constellr’s customers in the agricultural space and beyond.”, says Guerric de Crombrugghe, former ScanWorld General Manager, who will now lead product development at Constellr, putting customer value at the heart of the company’s strategic priorities.
The transaction brings on board ScanWorld’s former shareholders, SPACEBEL S.A. (Belgium), to complement Constellr’s strong set of existing investors, FTTF, OHB Venture Capital, Amathaon Capital and Next Humanity Ventures.
Novel data sources along with new commercial capabilities in data fusion such as that planned by Constellr and ScanWorld will help mobilize longer term thinking and planning for food security as well as accelerate the development and take-up of data from future public remote sensing missions.
Constellr is a NewSpace data and services company leading the way in delivering a daily, global beyond-visual monitoring service for the agricultural sector. The company provides the fundamental global data for smart crop monitoring, identifying changes in crop health days to weeks before they become visible and enabling producers and other players across the supply chain to react early to and mitigate for potential crop risks and losses. This drives a reduction in uncertainty in crop yield forecasting, in turn limiting price volatility, improving logistics planning and increasing transparency across agri-food supply chains.
Constellr launched its first thermal infrared sensing system into orbit in February this year and already has pilot customers using its first imaging data in Europe and the US. ScanWorld’s Brussels and Liège based teams are already collaborating closely with the Constellr’s data processing and product development teams in Germany to help bring the first suite of thermal products to market. The next phase of joint technology and product development is to kick off in the coming months.
ScanWorld is a NewSpace and AgTech company focused on the delivery of affordable, hassle-free and easily accessible satellite imagery and analytics. Its products aim to optimize input management, maximize yield, and promote good environmental stewardship. The company is building an infrastructure to provide high-quality Level 2 hyperspectral imagery, multiple times per week, for any point of the globe. This enables a wide range of applications such as soil organic carbon estimation, early disease alerts, or even water and fertilizers management.
Quotations from Investors
Quote from Amathaon
“We’re thrilled to be supporting Constellr’s growth and look forward to an extremely bright future for this outstanding team and product. With the acquisition of ScanWorld, the team is steps closer to building a real-time atlas of our biosphere. This joint technology will be a revolution in earth observation for a new generation of farming and land stewardship”
Quote from OHB SE
“We are very much thrilled by this acquisition. The combination of both TIR and hyperspectral space technologies embedded in micro-satellites will enable unique and unprecedented data products and services with very high added value for humankind. At OHB, the worldwide leader for hyperspectral space systems (Prisma, EnMAP, Copernicus CHIME), we are delighted by the perspective to get soon companions to our hyperspectral satellites in orbit contributing to the further growth of the EO downstream market.”
– Sebastien Tailhades, Domain Manager Earth Observation at OHB SE
Quote from FTTF
“We are very excited to have bundled two european spacetech innovations, which generate an even stronger use case for various customer groups on a global scale.”
– Tobias Schwind, Managing Director, Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds (FTTF) GmbH
Quote from SPACEBEL
“Merging ScanWorld with Constellr technologies is THE solution to efficiently reach the ultimate purpose ScanWorld stands for, i.e. tackle worldwide challenges in sustainable agriculture, forestry, and environmental monitoring. As a new shareholder of Constellr, SPACEBEL is pleased to contribute to this new dimension as it allows us to reinforce our deployment in Europe while offering us indirectly the opportunity to help to build a sustainable future for our planet Earth and its inhabitants.”
– Thierry du Pré-Werson, Managing Director of SPACEBEL