Okapi:Orbits Raises $5.7M in Seed Funding Round

SAN FRANCISCO – German start-up Okapi:Orbits raised €5.5 million ($5.7 million) in a seed funding round led by Munich Re Ventures with participation from Dolby Family Ventures, Herius Capital and APEX Ventures .

Okapi offers space traffic management software designed to help satellite operators reduce maneuvers, save fuel and limit downtime. More than 50 satellites in orbit already rely on Okapi’s software, said Kristina Nikolaus, Okapi’s co-founder and CEO SpaceNews by email.

Okapi is raising money to expand the user base for its platform, improve its product portfolio, and expand its international footprint at a time when increasing traffic in low Earth orbit has heightened interest in space situational awareness and space traffic management.

An increase in operational satellites and orbital debris is causing interference, close proximity and potential collisions. According to the June 13 press release, Okapi’s goal is to provide customers with “uninterrupted use of technology in space” by leveraging the Okapi platform.

Okapi’s space traffic management software merges radar, telescope, space-based sensor and laser range data to predict hazards, interference and environmental impacts. Okapi also offers risk analysis, simulation capabilities and tools to ensure compliance with regulations and standards.

“Our overarching mission is to help operators extend the life of their assets with a minimal environmental footprint, keep their investments safe, and capitalize on the huge opportunities the booming space market offers to solve Earth’s problems,” said Nicholas in a statement.

In addition to venture capital firms, the Okapi seed round attracted investment from individuals: Andreas Kupke, founder of German financial services firm Finanzcheck, SAP VP Christian Dahlen, angel investor Ingo Luge and Michael Oxfort, former Chief Technology Officer of RapidEye.

“Okapi:Orbits addresses a critical and underserved market,” Luge said in a statement.

Timur Davis, Principal of Munich Re Ventures, said in a statement: “Munich Re Ventures is pleased to support Okapi:Orbits in its vision to reduce the risk of collisions and other adverse events in space. We share their commitment to innovative solutions that enable a safe and sustainable space ecosystem.”

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