Sevun aims to democratize amateur astronomy by opening up its capital. Currently developing the Sevunscope, the world’s first modular, upgradeable telescope, the Bordeaux-based startup is launching a crowdfunding campaign to kick-start mass production of the Sevunscope. The campaign began on October 5th and will run until November 9th on the Kickstarter platform.
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A fast-growing market and practices
With telescope sales rising by an average of 10%*, more and more people are equipping themselves to observe space. Whether it’s for visual observation of the sky or astrophotography, this hobby is becoming increasingly popular, bringing together 30,000 regular sky-watchers in France and many more worldwide.
Amateur astronomy is evolving and diversifying. While visual observation remains dominant, new activities such as digital astrophotography and the hunt for exoplanets through participatory science programs are also attracting enthusiasts. In 2023, more than 600 astronomical events were organized throughout France and listed on the Association Française d’Astronomie (AFA) website.
A versatile telescope to meet the needs of amateur astronomers
Making your first observations of the deep sky requires an investment of at least €300 to €500 for a beginner’s telescope. This budget allows you to get started but means you’ll have to change equipment to go further. What’s more, certain types of observation don’t always require the same equipment, so enthusiasts have to multiply their telescope purchases as they go along.
This means juggling different types of telescopes depending on what you want to see, resulting in an accumulation of costly and cumbersome equipment.
To address these issues, the Bordeaux-based startup Sevun, with the support of Unitec, has developed a modular telescope based on the principle of reflex cameras, making it easy to change lenses without having to replace everything.
This gives amateur astronomers a versatile instrument with which they can change the optical configuration (diameter, focal length) to suit their needs. This simplification also means lower costs than buying a whole instrument. In practice, the Sevunscope offers 15, 20 and 25 cm optical kits and a focal length range from 75 to 125 cm. It has also been designed to be easily transported in a dedicated backpack.
“Making the telescope more versatile and streamlined is our ambition at Sevun. Thanks to our modular, upgradeable telescope concept, we’re trying to improve the quality/price/aperture diameter ratio that astronomers are looking for”, say Paul-Gaël Gheno and Damien Roy, Sevun’s founders.
Making amateur astronomy accessible through participatory financing
The pre-sales campaign, which runs from October 5th to November 9th, 2023, has a target of €30,000. This sum is intended to support the industrialization of Sevunscope production and kick-start the company’s commercial launch.
The startup’s ambition is to rapidly develop other products, such as a carrying bag, an equatorial mount, and a “Goto” device that automatically compensates for the Earth’s rotation, making it easier to observe the stars.
Last but not least, Sevun is preparing a subscription offer that includes the Sevunscope. This will enable the curious to learn about astronomy at a lower cost, without a major initial investment. Subscribers will be provided with a Sevunscope for the duration of the subscription and will be able to change the optical configuration according to their needs.
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First published in LA FRENCH TECH BORDEAUX. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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