Bill Gates leads Kymeta’s $84M funding round

Satellite tech company Kymeta secured $84 million in equity funding this week, with Bill Gates leading the investment round.

The funds will be used to accelerate the production of Kymeta’s electronically steered flat panel technology, expanding its offerings for low Earth orbit (LEO) services and defense customers.

Kymeta has been backed by Bill Gates since 2016, when the company scored $62 million for its satellite-connected cars.

Hanwha Systems, a South Korean aerospace and defense company, is another notable investor. The company is known for developing core components for satellite and aerospace mission sensors as well as integrating small satellites with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for military reconnaissance.

Douglas Hutcheson, executive chairman and co-CEO of Kymeta, said in a statement Kymeta’s strong financial backing is a testament to the “growing enthusiasm” for its products.

“Our technology advancements give Kymeta a competitive advantage and we are excited to continue in the development of both our second-generation u8 product family and third-generation technology that promises to provide even higher efficiencies and lower costs for our customers,” Hutcheson said.

The Kymeta u8 terminal is a land-based product designed with a multi wide area network (WAN) satellite and cellular configuration. These features permit broadband communication to a satellite while it’s on the move.

Lilac Muller, vice president of product management at Kymeta, said in a February press release the Kymeta u8 is a “a software-defined platform that unlocks the potential of future capabilities in both terrestrial and space-based networks in geostationary and non-geostationary orbits.”

Kymeta announced a partnership with Kratos last month, to jointly develop a remote terminal supporting a variety of dynamic satellite connectivity applications. This includes support for multi-orbit use cases where connectivity to LEO, medium Earth orbit (MEO) and geostationary equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites through the same antenna are desirable.

Kymeta also partnered with Intelsat in 2017 to offer Kalo, a satellite service that buys and sells connectivity to customers and sectors that are unreached or underserved by terrestrial networks.

Muller, along with Walter Berger, Kymeta President and Co-CEO, are scheduled to speak alongside other industry leaders at the Satellite 2022 conference, which begins March 21 in Washington, D.C.