Terra Motion raises investment funding to scale environmental land motion surveys globally

Terra Motion, the UK’s leading environmental land motion survey provider, announced today a growth equity investment led by venture capital firm Unknown Group, the University of Nottingham, and Mr Alexey Maslov.

The financing will be used to fund Terra Motion’s global expansion, including further investment in its market-leading technology and new land motion and climate products.

This is the first investment received by Terra Motion, who were founded in 2015 by researchers at the University of Nottingham to commercialise a novel space-based solution for the measurement of land motion.

Using innovative technology developed by the business, Terra Motion processes satellite radar imagery land surface movements with millimetric precision, and does so, uniquely, over urban, vegetated and natural land surfaces alike.

This capability not only places Terra Motion at the cutting edge of a range of established market sectors including planning, insurance and engineering surveys but is also opening up significant new markets in support of efforts to stem climate change, to detect signs of modern slavery and in the assessment of dangerous earthworks.

From their offices at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park, Terra Motion have been remotely surveying sites around the world on almost every continent, from the tropics to the far north, working with international clients including commercial engineering consultancies, government departments and the United Nations.

Rafael Aldon, Director at Unknown, will join Terra Motion’s board of directors.

He said today: “Terra Motion are able to monitor some of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, providing intelligence for decision-makers at a critical time for addressing climate change risks. They can also prevent future loss of life by identifying the early warning signs of impending failure of infrastructure, such as tailings dams, which often have catastrophic consequences. In this way, Terra Motion’s pioneering work provides organisations and governments the critical data they need in order to act to prevent disasters, rather than reactively footing the response and recovery bills.”

Professor Sam Kingman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham said “A key strategic focus for the Faculty of Engineering is to address global societal challenges and deliver sustained advantage to our stakeholders through research excellence. I am very proud that research from the Faculty has contributed to the success of Terra Motion and we very much look forward to seeing the impact the work of the company will have in the future.”

Alexey Maslov, tech investor and previously executive for asset management, engineering and IT in various companies, will join Terra Motion’s board of directors. He said: “I believe that the Terra Motion’s set of technologies will make a huge difference for asset management in the industrial and utility sectors. They have multiple advantages compared to conventional methods, allowing to extend the reach and coverage of assets geographically, accessing them faster, with less personnel involved, with higher precision and cost effectiveness. It perfectly matches the trend of industries to evolve into “smart and agile” version of themselves: highly monitorable and manageable, transparent for stakeholders, robust to impact of environmental changes, and responsive to new economic requirements”.  

Dr Andy Sowter, CTO and founder of Terra Motion said: “This funding is a huge milestone for us.  Nine years ago, the University of Nottingham produced a remarkable result that challenged what most experts said could be achieved with satellite radar data.  Terra Motion have since taken that result, proven it, developed it and turned it into a business that can help solve major problems around the world, including providing critical data for the global climate emergency.  This investment provides an opportunity for us to expand our sales and business development activities and to expand the market for our solution across the world.”

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