Okapi:Orbits raises $5.7 million in seed funding round

SAN FRANCISCO — Germany startup Okapi:Orbits raised 5.5 million euros ($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 software, Kristina Nikolaus, Okapi co-founder and CEO, told SpaceNews by email.

Okapi is raising money to expand the user base for its platform, enhance its product portfolio and grow 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 approaches and potential collisions. Okapi’s goal is to allow customers “interruption-free use of technology in space” through the use of the Okapi platform, according to the June 13 news release.

Okapi’s space traffic management software fuses radar, telescope, space-based sensor and laser ranging data to predict risk, 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 to increase the lifetime of their assets with a minimal ecological footprint, keeping their investments safe and taking advantage of the great opportunities the booming space market has to offer for solving Earth’s problems,” Nikolaus said in a statement.

In addition to venture capital firms, Okapi’s seed round attracted investments from individuals: Andreas Kupke, founder of German financial services firm Finanzcheck, SAP vice president Christian Dahlen, angel investor Ingo Luge and Michael Oxfort, fromer RapidEye chief technology officer.

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

Timur Davis, Munich Re Ventures principal, said in a statement, “Munich Re Ventures is excited to support Okapi:Orbits with their vision of reducing the risk of collisions and other adverse events in space. We share their commitment to innovative solutions that facilitate a safe and sustainable space ecosystem.”

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