SoftBank Group leads $103 mn round in IoT solutions firm Skylo

SoftBank Group leads $103 mn round in IoT solutions firm Skylo
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21 Jan, 2020

San Mateo, California-based global machine connectivity solution company Skylo Technologies has raised $103 million in a Series B round led by SoftBank Group.

Existing investors, US-based venture capital firms DCM, Innovation Endeavors and New Moore Strategic Ventures participated in the round, a company statement said.

The company has raised $116 million in total funding till date. The company had earlier raised $13 million in a Series A round that was co-led by the same investors.

Skylo will scale customer implementations first in India and other emerging markets, where it has already started implementing the technology in a range of industries. Its service will be commercially available later this summer and the company is in commercial trials with users in the US and other regions for subsequent launches and market expansion, the statement said.

“Skylo envisions a world where connectivity for machines, sensors and devices is as ubiquitous as the sky. This low-cost, global fabric of connectivity for machine data will be transformative for entire industries,”  Parthsarathi Trivedi, co-founder and CEO of Skylo, said.

Skylo was founded in 2017 by Trivedi, Andrew Nuttall and Andrew Kalman. The company enables IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity to machines, sensors and devices, through satellite communication in the most remote geographies.

Skylo’s satellite connectivity leverages existing geostationary satellites without the need to add new infrastructure in space. The company’s customers include enterprise and government entities in industries including automotive, railways, agriculture and maritime.

The company claims its costing is 95% lower than existing satellite solutions, with connectivity starting at just $1 per user and hardware that costs less than $100. The use cases for Skylo include mobilising data for shipping and logistics, improving agriculture crop health and productivity, digitising the fisheries industry and providing connectivity for modern passenger transportation systems.

“Skylo’s satellite technology creates an affordable way to connect more of the physical world to the internet, even in remote areas. Its antenna technology and use of the narrowband internet of things protocol is revolutionary, and we look forward to working with the company in developing new use cases,” Yoshi Segawa, vice president at SoftBank Group International, said.

IoT-based startups have been in the news lately for a lot of reasons. Earlier this month, Bengaluru-based telecom and information technology services provider Sasken Technologies became a part of Taiwanese semiconductor giant MediaTek’s IoT programme. Switzerland-based technology company Luxoft announced collaboration with Microsoft to accelerate the delivery of connected vehicle solutions and mobility experiences.