As access to space technology becomes cheaper, more companies will look to gain a foothold in the growing industry. Kepler is one of them.
The Toronto-based Kepler Communications has announced a $16 million USD Series A funding round. This new funding was led by Costanoa Ventures, with participation by Deutsche Bahn’s Digital Ventures as a strategic investor. On top of that, several return investors also participated, including IA Ventures, who led Kepler’s seed round.
As one of Canada’s leading space technology companies, Kepler offers satellite telecommunication services and aims to build a network through a steady deployment of orbiting satellites. This latest investment will allow Kepler to launch a new satellite—called CASE—into orbit to offer better connectivity to scientists, researchers and tourists at both of earth’s poles. This new satellite will be launched in mid-November from India and joins an already orbiting one. Together, the two satellites will be able to offer a jump in connectivity for those at both poles akin to the jump from 3G to 4G speeds.
“We’ve spoken with icebreakers, oil tankers, tourism companies, maritime operators, and scientific organizations that all operate at the poles,” said Mina Mitry, CEO of Kepler. “They told us of the frustrations with the complete lack of high-bandwidth coverage in these regions. This is what led us to roll out PolarConnectTM, the world’s only high bandwidth solution designed for the poles.”
It’s not only those who live or visit the poles who can make use of Kepler’s communications networks. Shipping companies that travel through the Arctic and Antarctic need access to reliable communications, and Kepler is able to provide connectivity.
After CASE launches in mid-November, a third satellite is planned for launch in the second half of 2019. Dubbed TARS, this new device will help demonstrate Kepler’s IoT services. After that, Kepler will continue to launch its GEN1 constellation, which is a group of 15 additional nanosatellites, which will all combine to offer services beyond what the three existing satellites can do.
Finally, though all of these efforts are slated to help citizens on earth, the satellites will ultimately help with in-space connectivity, allowing for further exploration and the launch of different forms of space crafts and devices.