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Satellite startup Constellr wins backing to build out its water-monitoring platform

We are living in the era of so-called microsatellites, which are equipped with thermal cameras and other regalia to, for instance, alert farmers before crops are damaged, predict droughts and aid in the juggling of supply chains. Climate change is making less land available for agricultural food production, leading to strict regulations on the use of water and fertilizer. Wasted water now costs €220 billion a year, according to some estimates, and is expected to reach a staggering €2 trillion by the end of the decade.

To tackle this, the Germany-based Constellr satellite startup has now raised $10 million in seed funding, co-led by Lakestar and Vsquared, with participation from early and new supporters FTTF, IQT, Amathaon Capital, Natural Ventures, EIT Food, OHB Venture Capital, Next Humanity, and Seraphim.

This space-based water monitoring system checks the Earth’s surface temperature and, soon, also its chemical composition. The platform will also look at water availability across the globe, daily.

Constellr will use the cash to develop its first two satellites, which take measurements beyond the infrared wavelengths (8-14 microns) to calculate surface temperature and thus measure water distribution.

The investment shows there is ongoing investment in space infrastructure coming out of Germany.

Lakestar and Vsquared are also investors in space startup Isar Aerospace, showing that Europe is keeping pace with geographies like the U.S. and China in an era when space sovereignty is more important than ever.