An interesting new satellite-based take on the Internet of Things (IoT), with a strong focus on emerging markets, is attracting a healthy funding response.
Skylo, as the new, US-headquartered company is called, recently announced $116 million in total funding after a new Series B round raised $103 million, led by SoftBank Group and joined by all existing investors. The company had previously raised $13 million in a Series A round.
Skylo plans to bring instant, affordable and ubiquitous IoT connectivity to millions of machines, sensors and devices, even in remote geographies. The company says its solutions cost 95 percent less than existing satellite solutions, with connectivity starting at $1 per user and hardware that costs less than $100.
Skylo says it is the world’s first company to leverage the cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) protocol via satellite, and that its customers include enterprise and government entities in industries such as automotive, railways, agriculture and maritime.
The company plans to scale customer implementations first in India and other emerging markets. Skylo’s service will be commercially available later this summer. The company is in commercial trials with users in the US and other regions.
Yoshi Segawa, vice president at SoftBank Group, praised the company’s satellite technology, which, he said, “creates an affordable way to connect more of the physical world to the internet, even in remote areas” He added, “Skylo’s antenna technology and use of the narrowband internet of things protocol is revolutionary.”