AUSSIE SPACE STARTUP LAUNCHES FUNDING ROUND TO LAUNCH 100 NANOSATELLITES $5M
11 April 2017, Written by David Simmons
AUSTRALIAN space startup, Fleet, has announced a $5 million Series A funding round to nanosatellites which aims to connect 75 billion of the world's devices by 2025.
Adelaide-based Fleet is developing nanosatellite technology in partnership with some of the world's leading aerospace engineers, and will launch the first of more than 100 planned satellites next year.
The satellites will create a global network that will be free to use by sensors and devices worldwide.
The funding round is led by venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, with co-investment from Atlassian's Mike Cannon-Brookes, Earth Space Robotics, and Horizon Partners.
The size of Fleet's nanosatellites means they can be produced at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites.
CEO and co-founder, Flavia Tata Nardini, says the project will enable the world's devices to be truly connected which is a world first in telecommunication innovation.
"There is so much talk globally about the potential of connected devices, but little being taken to make this chatter a reality," says Tata Nardini, a former European Space Agency propulsion engineer.
"We're designing a technology infrastructure that will underpin the new industrial revolution.
"It will connect all corners of the globe to create a digital nervous system of devices."
Tata Nardini says the technology will have great benefits for Australian businesses, who are often isolated and far away from traditional communication infrastructure.
"Farmers, mining and oil engineers, and logistics professionals will all benefit from the data and opportunities a switched-on planet produces."
Tata Nardini says the fact Australia is considered the 19th most innovative nation in the world isn't good enough.
"The Australian Government has set out policies to foster innovation, but space isn't part of that conversation Australia is one of the largest economies in the world to not have its own space agency," says Tata Nardini.
"If we're not always asking what's next, we'll never really have a place in the innovation game."
James Schultz, Founder and Director of Earth Space Robotics and Co-Founder and CEO of Green Collar, says the technology will have an impact on more than just global connectivity.
"Fleet's technology has the potential to completely change industries in the environment and natural resource sector," says Schultz.
"Importantly, it will improve our ability to measure environmental change, and proactively steer the course towards better outcomes.
"Fleet is the global connectivity solution the world desperately needs as we set ambitious targets to improve sustainability issues and reduce greenhouse gases."
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons