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DC climate startup Hydrosat just nabbed $20M in fresh funds

The Dupont Circle-based geospatial intelligence startup's round is made up of $15 million from a Series A and $5 million in non-dilutive funds.

No, that's not the eye of Sauron. It's thermal infrared data from Hydrosat. (Courtesy photo)

On the heels of a different climate tech company’s success, DC startup Hydrosat just had an eight-figure funding win of its own.

The geospatial intelligence company just nabbed $20 million in funding, made up of a $15 million Series A and $5 million in non-dilutive funds from the government. Statkraft Ventures led the round, with participation from Blue Bear Capital, Hartree Partners, OTB Ventures, Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, Expon Capital and Hemisphere Ventures.

The 30-person company was founded in 2018 and has offices near Dupont Circle, as well as in San Diego, California and Luxembourg. The company processes and analyzes satellite data with a focus on land surface temperature. Its thermal monitoring technology tracks water stress and provides real-time imagery data to government agencies, insurance companies, emergency responders and the agricultural industry. Measuring the surface temperature helps suss out water stress and availability, which leadership said is crucial for drought monitoring, crop predictions, wildfire risk and irrigation management.

CEO and cofounder Pieter Fossel told Technical.ly that the company was able to raise, despite a tight financial environment, thanks to the growing need for climate data.

“Demand for climate insights and data on environmental risk is really not going away. We’ve seen in the last couple of years an increase in extreme weather events, droughts, fire, that are impacting our food security, are impacting our communities, are impacting our economies,” Fossel said. “Now more than ever, there’s a real maturing and growing demand for the types of insights and information that Hydrosat is providing.”

With this round, Fossel said Hydrosat plans to bring its analytics product to market (the company has been piloting with commercial customers over the past year). It will also deploy three satellites and hire some new team members, though he declined to specify how many.

“This funding is transformational for our company, for our business, because it will allow us to bring our first commercial irrigation-focused products to agribusiness customers, which will really accelerate our commercial growth,” Fossel said.

To date, Hydrosat raised over $35 million, including a $10 million seed round in late 2021. Fossel said the company continued growing since that influx of cash. Already the company scored a licensing agreement with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for a remote sensing space system. It also inked a $1.2 million contract with the Air Force’s AFWERX to produce surface temperature data for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

With these successes and the new round, Fossel is encouraged about the startup’s future.

“This is a major raise for us and sets the company up for serious growth trajectory for the next several years,” Fossel said.

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