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Kepler Communications

Kepler Communications

Kepler Communications is a company that has a focus on satellite production and communication networks.

Kepler Communications is a company that looks to develop and establish in-space communication networks for space-borne assets. The company was founded in 2015 by Jeffrey R Osborne, Mark Michael, Mina Mitry, Samer Bishay, and Wen Cheng Chong, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kepler Communications looks to build infrastructure for spacial connectivity. Their infrastructure includes and connects launch vehicles, space stations, habitats, and satellites. They develop, launch, and operate satellites to provide a global connectivity and introduce internet in space. They believe this goal will allow for further space exploration, as communications and information will be able to be shared through the the network of space.

Kepler Communications looks to provide their services to industries such as maritime, natural resources, research and exploration, defense, shipping, and logistics. One of their communication solutions is their PolarConnect, which enables, organizes, and operates at the Earth's most extreme conditions to connect and disseminate information with other areas.

Investors
Costanoa Ventures

In an article on Costanoa Ventures' Perspectives blog, Constanoa partnerJohn Cowgill elaborated on Kepler Communications' objectives and accomplishments. This included the company's ability to immediately generate revenue by activating customer services simultaneously with nano-satellite deployment, resulting in immediate-return profitability for partners and investors.

As of October 2018, Kepler's connectivity service was operational, after the company had secured rights to the Ku-band spectrum and launched the first satellite in the Kepler communications network that year. According to Cowgill, as more satellites are deployed, the latency of Kepler's service will decrease to near real time, and the network will be able support connectivity for hundreds of thousands of IoT devices.

Cowgill noted that the market opportunity in the satellite telecommunications sector is $1.7 billion annually and expects further growth from 2018 onwards as the number of devices connected to the internet continues to expand. Cowgill also drew attention to Kepler's proprietary radio that addresses hardware connectivity problems with a software solution and the company's custom antennas adjusted to the Ku-band frequency.

Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures

DB Digital Ventures is Deutsche Bahn's venture capital arm that funds new digital business models. By investing in Kepler Communications, DB hopes to profit from innovative technology for fast and secure data transmission. DB Digital Ventures' overview of Kepler noted the company's plan of launching 140 small satellites into low earth orbit. Furthermore, Deutsche Bahn elaborates that Kepler's IoT solution will enable global positioning and allow transmission of data, such as information about the condition of freight being transported through multiple countries by train or truck.

The overview also discloses that by 2022, Kepler's satellites are to allow containers that are in transport to communicate in near-real time via sensors. According to DB Digital Ventures, the benefits for logistics customers include improvements along the supply chain and consignment tracking in areas not covered by a cellular network.

York Angel Investors

Linda Zhang, a member of York Angel Investors (“YAI”), invested in Kepler in February 2016. The investment had been motivated by what Zhang discerned to have been Kepler's expertise in their industry and the technology. “[The Kepler Communications team] are a group of talented engineers and, as Angels, know the business world very well. I invested because the team was able to turn their idea into a sound business plan,” Zhang noted.

According to York Angel Investors, Angel investment was instrumental in Kepler's development, having provided the company with the capital necessary to reach key milestones that led to new investors and product deployment. “The end result for us has been that our team has been able to hit key technical, regulatory, and customer development milestones,” Mina Mitry commented.

Creative Destruction Lab

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a non-profit seed-stage program for companies in the science and technology sectors. The nine-month program employs an objectives-based mentoring process with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation. The CDL is particularly suited to early stage companies with links to university research labs. Kepler participated in CDL's 2015/16 cohort program.

DMZ

The DMZ noted that unlike some of Kepler Communications' competitors, their satellites have lower latency since they operate in close orbit. According to the DMZ, Kepler's products can cover large areas and are relatively cheaper than conventional connectivity methods, such as fibre-optic installations.

UofT Hatchery

UofT Hatchery defined Kepler's aim as the establishment of a space-based communications network to serve as an internet service provider for space assets. Such a solution would potentially increase the functionality of spacecraft by enabling real-time access to space assets, reduce the cost and time required to deploy space assets by managing ground communications infrastructure, and reduce the time-to-market (TTM) for spacecraft operators by purchasing and subsequently leasing out spectrum allocations such that satellite operators will no longer need to acquire spectrum.

Start@UTIAS

Kepler Communications obtained its initial funding in 2015, in part through Start@UTIAS, a Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering incubator. According to Jeffrey Osborne, vice-president for strategy and business development at Kepler, the initial support helped Kepler to develop its core intellectual property, which includes the specialized radio equipment that powers the satellites. While the company’s initial focus has been to use satellites to provide an inexpensive connectivity solution on land around the globe, Osborne claims that the company's long-term vision is to enable connections between space-based vehicles.

Timeline

June 2021
Kepler Communications raises a $60,000,000 series B round from Canaan Partners, Costanoa Venture Capital, IA Ventures and Tribe Capital.
October 2018
Kepler Communications raises a $16,000,000 series A round from Costanoa Venture Capital, Digital Ventures and IA Ventures.
July 2016
Kepler Communications raises a $5,000,000 seed round from Globalive Capital, IA Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, Plug and Play, SK Ventures, Space Angels, V1.VC, York Angel Investors and Zelkova Ventures.
February 23, 2016
Kepler Communications raises a $120,000 seed round from Dylan Taylor, Techstars and Techstars Seattle Accelerator.
February 2016
Kepler Communications raises a $100,000 convertible note from Right Side Capital Management.
September 1, 2015
Kepler Communications raises a $37,000 grant from The Entrepreneurship Hatchery at UofT.

Funding rounds

Products

Patents

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

About Us | Kepler Communications

Web

Kepler Communications - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Isabelle Kirkwood
June 9, 2021
BetaKit
Space tech startup Kepler Communications has secured $72.6 million CAD in Series B financing.
Josh Scott
March 26, 2021
BetaKit
Kepler Communications, which aims to bring the internet to space, successfully launched two new satellites, becoming the largest satellite operator in Canada.
Darrell Etherington
December 15, 2019
TechCrunch
Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space from TechCrunch. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. This is it - the very first edition of Max Q: TechCrunch's space newsletter. Despite approaching the end of the year, it's been a really busy week in the space industry, [...]
Darrell Etherington
October 31, 2019
TechCrunch
Kepler Communications, the Toronto-based startup that's focused on developing and deploying shoebox-sized satellites to provide telecommunications services, is opening up registration for those interested in getting their first developer kits. These developer kits, designed to help potential commercial customers take advantage of its Internet of Things (IoT) narrowband connectivity deploying next year, will then be [...]
Eric Berger
October 11, 2019
Ars Technica
In which rideshare missions are compared to "herding cats."

References

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