Orbica – Making geospatial simple

Dr Ashwath Sundaresan

August 9, 2022

Orbica – Making geospatial simple

Pacific Channel is pleased to be leading a $2.8m seed round into Christchurch based geospatial and AI company, Orbica.

Geospatial Analysis + Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) is a new field of study that combines geospatial methodologies with data science in solutions estimated to be worth over $200b in the next five years. Driven by the exponential growth in new data sources (e.g. satellites, drones, lidar, IoT sensors etc.), there has been huge demand in applications that use geospatial data to help solve big challenges.

GeoAI is increasingly seen as a foundational technology across many industries from healthcare to energy, improving public health outcomes and population wellbeing to ensuring environmental compliance and optimising physical assets and infrastructure. For example, healthcare providers are using GeoAI to help mix patient specific clinical data and air-traffic information to better predict disease spread and identify at-risk patient populations early. Similarly, construction companies are combining on-site image data of the site with information on the material supply chain and logistics network to improve delivery of supplies to the building site and minimise construction delays.  

GeoAI technology however is extremely complex and in almost all instances requires the use of highly trained experts to collate, analyse and provide meaningful insight from complex sets of geo-based data. Ina world where talent and expertise are bottlenecks, it is increasingly harder for organisations to access the relevant skillsets that can meaningfully assess geo-based data.

Simple on the outside, complex on the inside

Orbica’ssolution packages up this highly complex technology and presents it to customers in a way that is simple and easy to use. This has been the key challenge for customers using legacy geospatial technologies, which still require complexand often siloed skills to operate and utilise fully. Orbica has designed its technology architecture to combines  large amounts of geospatial, AI and cloud native technologies for them to work seamlessly with each other.

For customers, the Orbica platform is packaged up with simple and intuitive user interfaces that enable non geospatial experts to conduct geospatial analysis and develop and deploy these solutions across the whole enterprise. Orbica’s proposition is straightforward – to make geospatial technologies and data accessible to underserved users, by getting geospatial out of the back office and into the hands of non-geospatial and geospatial professionals alike so they can make better informed critical decisions  

Our investment

With customers across government and the private sector, Orbica’s solutions are helping industry solve big challenges that touch on healthcare, agriculture, environment, infrastructure, and the energy sector. We strongly believe Orbica is poised to assist in enabling its customers to solve some of the biggest challenges facing humanity in the coming decades by providing them easy to use tools and capabilities that can unlock new insights.

We also were attracted to make an investment for the following reasons:

- With a very clear vision, Kurt Janssen (the founder) has built atop-quality team that have the right combination of data-science, geospatial and sector-specific capabilities to execute. We back Kurt and the team.

- Orbica’s approach to sales is focussed on enterprise users who that have not historically used geospatial tools. By offering a simple way to access complex tools and opening new market segments, Orbica can broaden the market and capture users who are currently unable to use geospatial technologies.

- With the significant reduction in satellite launch costs and the increasing penetration of IoT and other location-based data, we believe the market for geospatial analysis capabilities will grow in size and complexity. Enabling simplicity in this complex future will be a key differentiator.