Dublin space-tech start-up Ubotica nets €4m to work on out-of-this-world AI

Dublin space-tech company Ubotica has raised €4m in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by Atlantic Bridge.

The round included co-investment from US-based Dolby Family Ventures and major space-tech investor Seraphim Space.

Ubotica uses computer vision and AI to analyse image datasets captured by satellites, which can be sent back to Earth for further investigation.

The start-up’s latest funding boost will be used to further develop its tech and grow its team.

Founded in 2017 and based at Dublin City University’s research and innovation campus, DCU Alpha, Ubotica’s tagline is “smarts for smart satellites”.

It has close links with AI start-up Movidius, which was acquired by Intel in 2016. Some of Ubotica’s senior team emerged from Movidius and Ubotica’s tech was built around the Intel Movidius Myriad 2 vision processing unit.

As well as its AI engineers based at DCU Alpha, the start-up has a team of computer vision engineers in Spain and a team of space systems experts in the Netherlands.

Ubotica has worked on several projects with the European Space Agency (ESA) and other partners. Its tech was used on the Earth observation satellite PhiSat-1, launched in 2020, for automatic cloud detection on images capture by the satellite.

Fintan Buckley, co-founder and CEO of Ubotica, said the company’s tech is “at the heart” of the satellite systems that provide real-time insights from space.

Gerry Maguire, general partner with lead investor Atlantic Bridge, said the firm is excited to join the Ubotica team as it works to expand the capabilities of edge devices and “satellite systems for the future”.

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“Based on the team’s 15-year heritage developing hardware for edge systems at Movidius, we are confident that Ubotica Technologies has an excellent foundation on which to advance this rapidly growing business,” Maguire added.

The start-up now plans to expand its team, with further information on roles available on its website.

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