Satellite tech startup Satelles secures $26 million to provider secure time and location solutions using low-earth-orbit satellites
Satelles, a satellite communication startup that provides unique timing and location solutions delivered over the Iridium constellation of 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites, has raised $26 million Series C financing round to expand its sales and marketing efforts, broaden its partner network, and accelerate product development. The round was led by C5 Capital, with participation from Iridium Communications and existing investors. The new funding brings Satelles’s total funding since the launch of its platform to $39 million.
Founded in 2008, the Reston, VA-based Satelles provides unique timing and location solutions delivered over the Iridium constellation of 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites. Satelles provides secure time and location signals from low Earth orbit (LEO) independent of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Satelles created its Satellite Time and Location (STL) service for the purpose of safeguarding against devastating attacks to GPS/GNSS capable of disrupting or disabling electrical grids, wireless communications networks, financial systems, and other private and public infrastructure in ways that seriously imperil the safety and security of our society.
Industry and government requirements for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) are expanding at a rapid pace, and the Satellite Time and Location (STL) broadcast signal from Satelles provides assured PNT across a range of applications and at scale. “Today’s world runs on systems requiring trusted time and location information, and C5 Capital shares our commitment to make it a more secure and better place,” said Dr. Michael O’Connor, CEO of Satelles. “We are delighted that C5 led this latest investment round because they bring great insight into cybersecurity, and their international network is unparalleled.”
Attacks such as jamming and spoofing — where a radio transmitter near the target is used to interfere with legitimate GPS or GNSS signals — and hacking are becoming more of a threat because of the key role that GPS and GNSS play in the operation of critical infrastructure. The Satelles STL platform brings unprecedented security to telecommunications networks, financial exchanges, electrical grids, maritime transportation systems, and many other sectors that depend on timing or location information. Downtime or malfunctions in these systems due to such attacks would be very costly. A June 2019 report sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology estimated a $45 billion loss to the U.S. economy if GPS were to experience a 30-day service disruption.
The Satellite Time and Location broadcast service from Satelles is encrypted to thwart malefactors aspiring to spoof or otherwise disrupt the STL signal, which is delivered via the low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation operated by Iridium, an investor in this financing round. “STL addresses a critical and growing need across many applications and industries, so Iridium’s investment in Satelles aligns with our strategic vision,” said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications. “Satelles’s technology is unique and powerful, and we are proud to host such an innovative service that solves important problems and leverages the unique capabilities of our network.”
C5 Capital Limited (C5) is a specialist venture capital firm focused on Innovative Technologies in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing.