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Birmingham technology firm Geospatial Insight receives £3.5million investment

Satellite, aerial and drone imagery specialist, Geospatial Insight, is to further develop its visual intelligence technology after receiving a £3.5m equity investment, its second funding round in only four years.

The multi-million-pound investment includes funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) – West Midlands Equity Finance Fund operated by private equity house Midven – alongside Foresight Williams and VenturesOne, and will allow Geospatial Insight to strengthen its machine learning expertise and develop new customer propositions that better inform enterprise decision making.

Using a combination of machine learning, big data analytics and remote sensing techniques, Geospatial Insight provides evidence-based insights for improved decision making in a range of sectors including financial, trading markets and insurance. This specialist skillset puts Geospatial Insight at the forefront of the explosion of geospatial data and machine learning development helping to deliver radically new insights into key events and trends around the world.

Pat Hanlon, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Board Director for Access to Finance, said:

“The Midlands Engine Investment Fund launched earlier this year to give innovative small and medium-sized firms such as Geospatial Insight the financial backing to take their business to the next level, supporting the wider economic growth of Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

We encourage all like-minded companies to take advantage of the Fund which includes debt and equity finance ranging from £25,000 loans to £2million equity investment”.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Commenting on the investment, David Fox, CEO of Geospatial Insight, said:

“We are delighted to receive investment through Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund and VenturesOne. Over the next 12 months we will be strengthening our machine learning expertise and developing new customer propositions that better inform enterprise decision making. By doing so we will also further extend our leading position in delivering business intelligence and analysis derived from satellite, aerial and drone imagery.”

Recently the firm worked in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey – a catastrophe that saw 27 trillion gallons of rainwater fall on Houston and southeast Texas, causing an estimated $75 billion in damages to properties. With 50 inches of stagnant water leaving roads impassable and usual means of assessment redundant, the live footage broadcast from Geospatial Insight’s drone network meant insurers were able to evaluate objects as small as 1cm, expediting claims and reimbursing thousands displaced from their homes.

Surjit Kooner, Director at Midven said:

“This £3.5m capital injection, supported by the MEIF, will prove vital as Geospatial Insight begins its recruitment drive – capitalising on what is an extremely high-growth sector. Geopsatial’s use of machine learning techniques has significantly increased the volume of data that can be analysed and packaged into truly scalable actionable intelligence products.”

Outside of its own visual capture technology, Geospatial Insight has turned to social media to develop its response to natural disasters. Developing a programme that automatically gathers all feeds relating to a major event, providing analysts with the ability to ascertain precise information relating to affected properties and locations as the situation unfolds.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said:

“This is a great example of why we have developed and backed the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This funding, provided through our local partner Midven, is unlocking the finance that Geospatial needs to meet its ambitious growth targets. It’s good for the Midlands and for the UK economy.”