Space company Kepler Communications has raised an oversubscribed US$60M Series B to provide it with a capital injection for the continued scaling of its on-orbit satellite communications network.
This Series B fundraising round, was led by Tribe Capital, and includes participation from a host of new investors including Canaan Partners. Existing investors including IA Ventures, and Costanoa Ventures also participated signaling their strong conviction in the company’s progress and market opportunity. This brings the total funding raised to date by Kepler to over USD$90M.
Kepler is charging forward in the space race to develop a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication network. Kepler’s ambition is to provide Internet outside of Earth for the booming space economy. Kepler designs, builds, and operates satellites that are 1/10th the size and cost of alternatives to provide satellite communication services. Its network provides much needed capacity to the Maritime, Aviation, and Government markets on Earth and will soon extend coverage outside of Earth for applications like Earth Observation and Space Tourism.
Mina Mitry, CEO and Co-Founder, commented “This new funding not only allows us to continue our revenue growth using existing satellites, but also enables us to introduce new services in support of our growing customer base. We are pleased to have Tribe Capital leading the round given the deep domain expertise they’ve built through investments like Relativity Space.”
Kepler has made many significant advancements in the past year despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. The company completed its vertical integration by bringing satellite production in-house, and designed, built, and launched a dozen GEN 1 satellites. They now boast the capability to produce 10 satellites per month. Leveraging their production, Kepler has grown to become the largest satellite operator in Canada with 15 satellites now in orbit serving customer needs as far as the North Pole. They’ve demonstrated world record data rates with a wide variety of end-user equipment enabling customers to reap the advantages of LEO without the need to adopt new hardware.
The funds raised will help Kepler introduce their next generation satellites as they increase the size of their network. Wen Cheng Chong, CTO and Co-Founder, added “Building the internet in space is the guiding mission at Kepler. Our next generation of satellites will expand our coverage beyond Earth providing internet connectivity people, devices, satellites and more in orbit. There is a growing need to get data generated in space back to earth, and this is a need Kepler is uniquely qualified to address. This is an exciting time for those of us at Kepler as we create an essential part of the infrastructure needed for humanity to look toward a future beyond Earth’s atmosphere.”
Additionally, the funds from the Series B will be used to enhance the size and caliber of the team at Kepler Communications. Kepler doubled in size over the past year to 80 people and shows no signs of slowing down. The current growth and expansion plan is to increase the team size to 150 by the end of 2021.
Kepler remains focused on providing a healthy and vibrant work environment and received recognition for these efforts when the company was named Canada’s Best Workplaces for Start-ups 2021 in January. Mark Michael, Chief Architect and Co-Founder, explained that “This funding helps Kepler continue its market leadership position; we will be retaining and competing for the best talent globally. Our success is only attributable to the team we’ve built, and to that end we will continue to seek out the best and brightest who share our values.”
Kepler Communications is also announcing today plans to establish a presence in the United States. A US-based entity and office will be created with immediate hires in sales, marketing, and engineering. The US entity joins the presence Kepler established in the United Kingdom shortly after the Series A round and continues Kepler’s international expansion. The US presence moves Kepler closer to US-based customers for Global Data Service and future customers and partners for the Internet in Space service. These roles and future updates will be announced on Kepler’s website.
Mina Mitry had this to say about the US expansion, “We are seeing increasing demand for our products and services within the US market and by creating a local entity we will be better positioned to provide value, and boots-on-the-ground support for current and future customers in the US. The US market is obviously a particularly important one for us, especially as we develop the internet in space due to the high level of innovative space activity from private entities.”
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