May 5, 2021

Terra Motion Raises Funding From Unknown Group To Scale Environmental Land Motion Surveys Globally

The Hague, May 6. Unknown Group is delighted to announce an investment in Terra Motion, the UK’s leading environmental land motion survey provider. Reimagining the possibilities of satellite radar imagery, Terra Motion’s technology processes land surface movements with millimetric precision. Unknown is an active investor in the domain of Earth Observation since its 2017 investment in Geospatial Insight, a strategically complementary venture to Terra Motion.  


Terra Motion was founded in 2015 by researchers at the University of Nottingham to commercialise a novel space-based solution for the measurement of land motion. Led by their Founder and CTO, Dr. Andy Sowter, they have grown to market leaders in the analysis of wide-area land motion maps, remotely surveying sites around the world on almost every continent. Their solution supplies a competitive advantage to a wide variety of international clients including commercial engineering consultancies, government agencies and the United Nations. 


Terra Motion’s proprietary technology processes land surface movements over rural and urban surfaces alike – allowing clients to make informed decisions about benchmarking areas for development, determining risk areas, monitor existing assets and determining the result of man-made actions on natural ecosystems. This utility places their solution on the cutting edge of established market sectors like planning, insurance and engineering surveys. Moreover, their land surveying technology has invaluable use cases in supporting efforts to stem climate change, to detect signs of modern slavery and in the assessment of dangerous earthworks.


Rafael Aldon, Director – Asia 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.”


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. 


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.”


This is Terra Motion’s first investment round – Led by Unknown Group and co-financed by the University of Nottingham, and tech investor, Mr Alexey Maslov. Unknown Group has invested in Terra Motion Ltd. through VenturesOne Investments B.V. a joint venture between Unknown Group B.V. and European Angels Fund (EAF). EAF are a specialist provider of risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) across Europe.  EAF is part of the EIB Group (shareholders are the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and a wide range of public and private banks and financial institutions).


Dive Deeper: 

Terra Motion’s venture page on


About Unknown Group

Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm, supporting founders and industry leaders to successfully bring innovations to the market: a “Venture Engine®”. With a fresh approach delivering venture success, lining up the industry and creating a pool of solutions ready to be adopted by the market.

Unknown is a merger between VenturesOne group and Unknown Group. Unknown’s experience in global startup scouting and corporate venturing, combined with the investment expertise of VenturesOne, strengthens the ambition to increase the success rate of innovations that address pressing local and global challenges.


About Terra Motion

Terra Motion ( is a leading provider of ground motion data derived from satellite radar imagery.  Their novel solution for measuring subsidence in rural areas won the 2014 Copernicus Masters Prize and they were listed in 2019 as one of the 15 star companies of the UK space sector by Business Leader magazine.  Terra Motion are a partner in the UN Global Peatlands Initiative.


For Press Enquiries:

Rayhaan Imam


Dr Andy Sowter, CTO, Terra Motion


Rafael Aldon, Director, Unknown     


Andrew Naylor, CEO, Nottingham Technology Ventures Ltd