IoT satellite start-ups Fleet Space Technologies and Astrocast, from Australia and Switzerland respectively, have concluded funding rounds raising a combined amount of $16.5m.
Fleet raised $7.3m from global funds including Momenta Ventures and Horizons Ventures, while Astrocast raised $9.2m.
Fleet’s funding also includes capital from the Kennard family. This funding round meets increasing demands for IoT satellite networks across logistics, resources and energy industries.
The company has launched four nanosatellites so far, onboard SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and ISRO, and aims to combine “a global constellation of nanosatellites at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites.” It uses a long-range LoraWAN hub to process data from sensors using edge computing, reducing data transmission needs.
The applications of these satellites are to track assets across thousands of kilometres, managing heavy equipment at remote mine sites, and monitoring major pipelines and utilities that will be made possible through its constellation.
Funding for Astrocast ended at $9.2m, and the company has not yet revealed any of its funders by name, stating only it has secured “new and old investors”. The company launched its first two satellites this year, which will eventually make up part of a 64 CubeSat fleet in low earth orbit, providing low-latency global coverage.
It plans to launch its next generation of satellites in 2020. The new satellites might be “slightly larger”, at 6U rather than the 1.5U and 3U CubeSats that were launched in 2018.
Astrocast was awarded a 500,000CHF grant from the Foundation for Technological Innovation, a loan designed to encourage entrepreneurship and support local start-ups in the region of Vaud, Switzerland. The company will see a commercial launch in Q1 2020.