I-Sea is going out to sea

15 March 2018

I-SEA is a French company that’s on its way to become an important part of the market. It is specialized in the study of water and coastal areas using cutting-edge satellite technology to do so. Aurélie Dehouck is one of the founders of the company. She has a doctorate from the University of Brittany in Physical Geography, and she has been CEO of I-SEA since 2014.

The team that created I-SEA first met while working in a tech transfer cell called GeoTransfert. They decided to make their idea into a commercial offer during the year 2013. Aurélie Dehouck describes this event as “A team coming together, imagining an innovative idea, and deciding that it was ripe to go to market”. And it certainly was!

Typical environmental research agencies generally stick to the study of the ocean and offshore coastal areas and less the nearshore. I-Sea discovered the market potential for studies on the state of the coast. This research interested scientists and authorities in charge of coastal management in particular, and Aurélie Dehouck and her team decided to provide an offer by using the satellite technology at their disposal. This innovative thinking and use of satellite imagery was rewarded with the GMES Masters prize in 2013.

Eighty percent of the clients are institutions and other public actors that need to keep an eye on the health of rivers and the coastal areas. The core of I-SEA’s commercial activity is focused on the monitoring of water quality, marine and terrestrial bio-diversity, as well as the management of water as a resource. All of this research is then used to provide realistic observations of the impact of, for example, industrial activities like dredging large commercial ports. I-Sea thus makes it their business to give an efficient answer to the demands created by European environmental protection laws.

The team consists of about ten people, and the company is planning to raise 100 000 € this year to cover their needs during a period of growth, something they are clearly succeeding at since their revenues have gone up to nearly half a million euros.

Dehouck confides that the next steps are going to be a better grip on the French market, and afterwards, in the long term, an expansion on the international market. I-SEA is already putting their feelers out on this point, and looking at other European countries and the Australian continent. The data on which the research is based is by essence international, therefore opening up the possibility of using it all around the globe.

This global ambition and the novelty of their method are good reasons to keep an eye out for the development of this already acclaimed company.

I-Sea in a nutshell:

-    Founder:       Aurélie Dehouck

-    Incubator:     ESA BIC Sud France (2015)

-    Location:      Bordeaux Technowest (France)

-    Revenue:      300 000 € (2017)

-    R&D:            450 000 € (2017)


Aurélie Dehouck
+33 617182533