CesiumAstro Boosts Satellite Communications Tech With $60M Raise
CesiumAstro announced Wednesday that it has raised $60 million to further enhance its ability to provide fast, high-powered communication transmissions for drones, satellites and other airborne vehicles.
Whereas traditional satellite beams are unable to be steered once they are in orbit, CesiumAstro specializes in designing and building higher-throughput active phased array systems that can be steered. This allows its clients to make better use of the radio frequency spectrum.
CesiumAstro launched its first two satellites into orbit in September. The company plans to deploy additional assets into space later this year.
The plug-and-play communication payloads can also be used for a variety of commercial and defense initiatives, ranging from missile defense to in-flight connectivity.
“CesiumAstro’s full-stack system is critical to enabling higher connectivity speeds within our evolving aerial and space communications infrastructure,” Wen Hsieh, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said in a statement. “Its high-resiliency improves security, streamlines airline connectivity offerings and enhances internet access in rural and over-crowded areas.”
This $60 million Series B round brings CesiumAstro’s total funding to nearly $90 million. The company said in a statement that its fresh capital will be used to accelerate the growth of its core research, development and rapid manufacturing capabilities.
The company also plans to open new offices this year in El Segundo, Germany and Washington, D.C.
Last year, CesiumAstro turned its 10,000-square-foot office at the Hill Country Galleria into a product development facility and moved its corporate and engineering teams to a 29,000-square-foot space nearby on Bee Cave Parkway. The company also opened a 13,000-square-foot satellite design office in Broomfield, Colorado, last year.
In the next 18 months, the company plans to double its employee headcount from 80 to 160 or even 200, according to a company spokesperson.
The Series B funding round was co-led by Airbus Ventures and Forever Ventures, with strategic participation from L3Harris Technologies.