Amsterdam-based satellite and communications startup, Hiber, has raised €26M in EU funding and private investment to expand the world’s first global IoT (Internet of Things) satellite network.
Investors in this round
The investment has been awarded to Hiber by the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), the EU’s innovation agency, from their €278M Innovation Fund. The EIC co-invested with an innovation credit provided by the Dutch government and existing shareholders.
Hiber selection as one of three companies to receive the maximum investment from the EIC Fund is in recognition of the shining role it can play in supporting the EU’s agenda. The Fund also targets the funding gap at the startup and scale-up stage, where the European venture capital market relatively underperforms as compared to the global venture capital market.
Other investors in this round include Finch Capital, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and Hartenlust Group.
Use of the funds
The raised capital will enable Hiber to further expand its satellite network and grow its customer base. Coen Janssen, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Hiber, says, “The €26M funding is fantastic validation for Hiber’s success and a major boost for the European ‘New Space’ sector.”
To date, the company has managed to attract significant funding and is part of the selected companies of the European Innovation Council (EIC). Nicklas Bergman, an EIC Fund Committee Member, comments, “I am glad to announce the EIC Fund support to this highly innovative company aiming at creating a European champion in the satellite Internet of Things sector. This equity financing will help Hiber to enable affordable and ubiquitous connectivity for the IoT solutions.”
Hiber – a ‘NewSpace’ startup
The company was founded in 2016 by Coen Janssen, Erik Wienk, Ernst Peter Hovinga, Laurens Groenendijk, and Maarten Engelen. Hiber’s in-house-developed satellite constellation aims to bring IoT solutions to areas where there’s never been affordable cellular access or wifi.
In simple terms, the company will ensure the possibility to track and monitor machines and devices for a wide range of IoT solutions in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach places.
The company says that the scaling of the satellite network and innovative IoT solutions will have a significant positive impact on some of the biggest issues facing the world today, from eliminating food wastage to reducing the environmental impact of extracting fossil fuels.
Janssen says, “Every year, 30 per cent of food production is lost or wasted, and 33 per cent of oil wells experience leakages. Both problems can be addressed by using technology to monitor pressure, humidity, or temperature. These are great examples of how space innovation can solve important global problems and improve lives.”
The company employs more than 60 people around the world and has offices in Amsterdam and Delft in the Netherlands and Maryland in the United States.
This year, in 2021, the company launched HiberHeavy, a subscription-based heavy equipment monitoring solution.
In 2020, Hiber’s end-to-end solution for Oil & Gas Well Integrity Monitoring, a subscription service of its kind in the industry, became a reality under the name of HiberHilo.
Prior to that, in October 2018, the company successfully launched its first two nano satellites from California and India.
Its current applications include monitoring crops in Africa, groundwater in Australia, fishing vessels across the Pacific, carbon-free vehicles in Antarctica, rail cars in America, cattle in South America, beehives in Europe, and even Dutch flowers.
Steven, who joined the company in October 2020, will take on the role of CFO. He was the former Principal at Boston Consulting Group and CFO at WePayPeople, exited to People2.0.
As for Roel, who joined the company early this month, was previously the Vice President Sales at Survey Monkey and co-founder and CCO at Usabilla (exit to Survey Monkey). Roel’s task as CCO will be to implement an “IoT-as-a-Service” commercial model for the company.
Besides, one of the co-founders of Hiber, Laurens Groenendijk, will step aside as Managing Director to turn his attention to his other investment initiatives.
About EU EIC Fund
Established in June 2020, the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund) is a breakthrough initiative of the European Commission to make direct equity and quasi-equity investments (between €500K and €15M) in European high impact and deep tech startups and scale-ups.
The EIC Fund provides patient capital and invests in companies from any sector, across all EU countries and countries associated with Horizon 2020.
The Fund pays particular attention to empower and support female founders as well as contributing to reducing the innovation divide among EU countries.
The EIC Fund aims to fill a critical financing gap, and its main purpose is not to maximise financial investment returns but to have a high impact by accompanying companies with disruptive technologies in their growth. Its objective is to crowd in market players, further sharing risks by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow-on funding.