Swiss firm Else raises $3 million to launch IoT nanosatellite
The European startup expects its constellation of nanosatellites to provide vertically-targetted IoT andM2M communication platforms
Swiss space start-up Else, which is currently developing the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellite constellation Astrocast to provide diverse global industries with an IoT and M2M communication platform, has received $3 million in seed funding.
Investors include Airbus Ventures, a Geneva-based independent assets manager and multi-family office, as well as numerous additional Swiss- and internationally-based private investors. The seed round follows $3 million previously raised by the company in public support.
Else said the latest funding round will support the firm’s complete business operations through the company’s planned demonstration mission expected in mid-2018, which will launch the first two nanosatellites into LEO.
“This seed round validates our ambitious plan to connect the planet and enhance machine-to-machine communications through our innovative satellite constellation and network technology. We are looking to disrupt and serve numerous industries and this successful capital raise is an important milestone for us in that plan,” said Fabien Jordan, co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Else.
The constellation will comprise a total of 64 nanosatellites with Else projecting all to be in orbit by 2021. The Swiss company said the satellites will collect data, which will be delivered to ground stations, then distributed for access by customers through a secure Internet gateway. The Swiss firm said that the Astrocast constellation is expected to drive efficiencies and operational cost advantages across numerous sectors including retail, agriculture, automotive, transportation, logistics, utilities, maritime, oil and gas, among others.
“The machine-to-machine sector is burgeoning with new utilizations and benefits identified constantly,” added Jordan. “While we have a clear idea of numerous applications and industries that Astrocast will serve, we learn of more all the time, further solidifying our resolve in delivering this constellation.”