Airmo combines space and climate tech with emissions-monitoring satellites

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German startup Airmo is taking aim at climate change, with plans to launch a 12-satellite constellation to monitor greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the planet.

To fuel its ambitions, the company announced today that it closed €5.2 million ($5.7 million) in pre-seed funding, which includes €1.5 million from venture investors and a €3.7 million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Airmo, founded in 2022, says it will use the funding to launch its first satellite equipped with spectrometer and light detection and ranging (lidar) technology to detect and measure GHGs in real time. The company says its “micro-lidar” solution, combined with the spectrometer, improves the accuracy of its measurements by correcting for atmospheric winds and aerosols.

The company’s co-founder, Harriet von Kügelgen, told TechCrunch that Airmo plans to launch its first satellite at the end of 2024, though she declined to name the launch provider. Airmo’s revenue will be generated from companies paying for their emissions data, she added.

The startup is an official partner of the “Aiming for Zero” program of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, an industry group composed of 12 of the world’s largest energy companies, including Aramco, BP and Chevron. That partnership will no doubt give Airmo key insights into the needs of a core customer sector.

The round was led by Findus Venture, with additional participation from Ananda Impact Ventures, Pi Labs, E2MC, Antler and several angel investors. The ESA contract was awarded as part of the agency’s InCubed program, which aims to fund commercial initiatives in the Earth observation space.

“We see a growing interest from the society and the investors on climate and sustainability,” Michele Castorina, an ESA investment officer, said in a statement. “Earth Observation will play a key role in this landscape.”

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