Satellite antenna builder Kymeta announced that it has closed a significant new round of fundraising led by Bill Gates , as the startup looks to increase manufacturing and sales of its mobile product.
" The problem our customers want to solve is a very reliable broadband service, " Chief Executive Doug Hutcheson told CNBC.
The startup raised $ 85.2 million in the last round, including $ 78.5 million from Gates.
The amount raised by the company so far has reached about $ 300 million since its inception in 2012, including investments from Lux Capital, Intelsat and Liberty Global.
The company's core product is electronically oriented flat satellite antennas, which are designed to replace dish-tracking technology for moving satellites but are also capable of connecting to cellular networks.
This product appears to fill the gap in connecting satellite networks to Earth, Kymeta says: The other antenna is not durable enough to support mobility.
The U8 station is Kymeta's latest antenna, and the company should start a trial run of the product to market by the end of the year.
Hutchson described the U8 station as a transformative product for the telecommunications industry, and says: It is the only one of its kind and can connect to a variety of satellites, such as ViaSat in distant geosynchronous orbit and Starlink satellites from SpaceX which are much closer and smaller in orbit. Low ground.
“This technology provides satellite communications without moving parts due to the extremely strong flat panel,” Hutchinson said.
Earlier this month, Kymeta acquired Lepton Global Solutions, a satellite communications network that Kymeta says will improve its service connectivity.
Kymeta employs nearly 200 people and expects that number to grow steadily in the coming year.
Gates invested in (Kymeta) in 2016, and Hutchinson described him as a patient investor, and said: I think Bill believes we have the right technology that has been developed now to the point that it is ready to change the way people think and use this type of communication.
The company said: The average retail price for (Kymeta) station is about $ 30,000, and it also offers (Kymeta Connect) option for a monthly fee starting at $ 995, which includes hardware, software and communication services.