Astranis raises Series C financing
(14 April 2021 - Astranis) Astranis today announced a $250 million Series C financing round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.
The financing was led by funds managed by BlackRock, with significant participation from new investors Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Koch Strategic Platforms, Monashee Investment Management, and Uncorrelated Ventures. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, Fifty Years, ACE Early Stage Partners, Harpoon Ventures, Indicator Fund, Industry Ventures, Jaan Tallinn, Jeff Dean, Jerry Yang's AME Cloud, Jude Gomila, Refactor Capital, Rising Tide Fund, SOMA Capital, and others also participated in the round.
Astranis is solving one of the largest challenges facing the modern world: reducing the cost of internet access to get the next four billion people online.
The new funding will be used to significantly expand production of Astranis's unique microsatellite platform, built to satisfy the significant global demand for affordable broadband. Additionally, Astranis will dramatically accelerate new technology research and development to support its next-generation platforms. That includes the company's proprietary software-defined radio technology, which increases satellite performance and flexibility, and allows manufacturing at scale, lowering the price point to end-consumers.
Astranis's satellites can be deployed at a low cost and be built in months, not years. That's in contrast to traditional satellites that require hundreds of millions of dollars of capital and five or more years to get new capacity online. The smaller size of Astranis's satellites — just 350 kg, or about 20 times less than traditional satellites — and their deployment into geostationary orbit (GEO) allows Astranis to start providing coverage with just a single MicroGEO satellite and bring capacity online quickly, focusing beams of broadband connectivity right where it's needed.
"We are solving one of the biggest problems facing the world today," said Astranis co-founder and CEO John Gedmark. "Four billion people do not have reliable access to broadband internet. Getting connectivity to those who need it the most changes lives in a profound way. It empowers people to take control of their health, education, and economic situation. We're talking about something that is now absolutely part of the base of the hierarchy of needs." Astranis has projects in work around the globe to deploy satellites to bring connectivity to some of the world's most underserved areas.
Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have access to the internet. Each spacecraft operates from geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of only 350 kg, utilizing a proprietary software-defined radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows frequency and coverage flexibility, as well as maximum use of valuable spectrum. By owning and operating its satellites and offering them to customers as a turnkey solution, Astranis is able to provide bandwidth-as-a-service and unlock previously unreachable markets. This allows Astranis to launch small, dedicated satellites for small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 500 companies, existing satellite operators, and other customers.
Astranis launched a first test satellite into orbit in 2018 and is now underway with its first commercial program—a satellite to provide broadband internet for Alaska that will more than triple the available bandwidth across the state. The satellite is undergoing assembly, integration, and test and is set for a launch later this year.