US business intelligence company buys Satellite Applications Catapult spin out

Bird

Bird.i, a leading satellite imagery and Artificial Intelligence (AI) company founded at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and one of the first spin-outs from the Catapult, has been acquired by US business intelligence and research business Hanley Wood | Meyers Research.

Bird.i was founded to make high resolution satellite images from the world’s leading providers accessible to the everyday business user. The company enables users to access reliable, automated data powered by their proprietary machine learning models. This data shows how things are changing on the ground in a timely and accurate way, which has been particularly valuable in the construction sector. The data can have an enormous impact for land procurement, design, and supply chain applications.

The company was founded in 2014 by Corentin Guillo whilst working at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell. The Catapult supports the development of entrepreneurial ideas into commercial concepts through a programme called ‘10% time’, where employees can dedicate 10% of their working time to projects which have clear potential.

On leaving the Catapult, Bird.i ran several successful funding rounds, enabling the company to take on more staff and grow and develop its range of products and services, ultimately bringing it to the attention of its new owners. This acquisition represents the first successful exit for an organization spun out from the Catapult, marking an important milestone for the ‘10% time’ programme.

The programme itself has been instrumental in the creation of several successful organisations including Oceanmind, the fisheries enforcement and compliance company and Orbital Witness, the property legals company, both of which now run autonomously from the Catapult and have been tipped for continued success.

Corentin Guillo, founder and CEO of Bird.i said, “I am delighted that we are able to confirm the acquisition of Bird.i. This has been the culmination of years of hard work, which all began at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell.  The opportunity and supportive environment that the Catapult provided to develop this idea into a business was invaluable.

Joining forces with Hanley Wood | Meyers Research is an exciting opportunity, driven by a visionary leadership team and a long-term growth ambition aligned with Bird.i’s original vision.”

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult said: “Identifying great ideas with commercial potential and fostering them to make their mark in the commercial world is a vital part of the work we do at the Catapult.  Bird.i is another Catapult success story. It started from a great idea and now has partnerships with some of the biggest satellite data companies globally, and contracts to supply information to some of the largest building and property firms in the world.

“Corentin should be rightly proud of what he has achieved with the business, and we hope that this acquisition means bigger and better things for the Bird.i technology in the future.”