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Boeing invests in IoT satellite communications start-up

Steve Rogerson
March 28, 2018



Boeing has invested in Australian IoT start-up Myriota, which aims to revolutionise satellite communications by providing low-cost access to high-value data in remote locations.
 
Myriota has developed technology enabling two-way communications between ground-based micro-transmitters and low Earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellites to share data securely over narrow bandwidths. This direct-to-orbit platform enables applications across the logistics, defence, utilities, agricultural, environmental and maritime industries, where IoT connectivity via traditional means is extremely challenging and expensive.
 
Boeing Horizon X Ventures' investment in Myriota is its first in a company outside of the USA and its tenth since Boeing Horizon X was launched in April 2017.
 
"Part of the mission of Boeing Horizon X is to pursue and accelerate innovations coming out of start-ups around the world," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing Horizon X. “By investing in Myriota, we are proud to support Australia's start-up ecosystem and growing space industry. Myriota's technology influences how we think about space-based communications and connectivity in remote locations."
 
Founded in 2015, Myriota builds on the work of its founders with the University of South Australia's Institute for Telecommunications Research. The company's direct-to-orbit technology enables massive-scale, low-cost communications for IoT devices anywhere on Earth.
 
"We formed Myriota to solve a major connectivity problem: hundreds of millions of devices that need to communicate but don't have cost-effective, battery-friendly networks to do so," said Myriota CEO Alex Grant (pictured). "The scale of this investment, with strong domestic venture capital leadership and strategic participation by global investors is significant for Myriota, and our vision to deliver IoT connectivity for everyone, everywhere."
 
Boeing Horizon X Ventures participated in this US$15m series A funding round led by Australian firms Blue Sky Venture Capital and Main Sequence Ventures, which manages the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Innovation Fund. Other investors include Right Click Capital and Singtel Innov8.
 
Myriota is the latest example of Boeing's continued investment in Australian technology that spans internal R&D, suppliers, partners and universities. So far this year, Boeing announced a set of space-related R&D projects with CSIRO and the launch in Queensland of the company's largest autonomous systems development programme outside of the USA.
 
In south Australia, Myriota joins Boeing's expanding presence in Adelaide, which Boeing announced last year in addition to an AU$500,000 investment over five years in the Adelaide-based Techstars global accelerator programme to support local start-ups.
 
The Boeing Horizon X Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specialising in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, and hybrid-electric propulsion. Boeing Horizon X also seeks business opportunities and non-traditional partnerships for the company's aerospace technology using innovations and business strategies.
 
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and a manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems. A top US exporter, the company supports airlines and US and allied government customers in 150 countries.
 
With more than 3000 employees, Boeing in Australia has a portfolio of aerospace capabilities across the country, including manufacturing of commercial aircraft components, complex military systems design and production, research and development, training and sustainment services, and unmanned systems.