Satellite startups turn to reinventing broadband, mapping and other industries

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News . More posts by this contributor Old VC firms hold entrenched position in fundraising despite fresh entrants The largest buys of tech’s Big Five: a look at M&A deals Smartphones have disrupted transportation, payments and communication. But the underlying technology has tangentially changed a completely different sector: satellites. The advances made in miniaturizing technologies that put a computer in your pocket — cameras, batteries, processors, radio antennas — have also made it easier and cheaper for entrepreneurs to launch matter into space. And investors are taking notice. The chart below shows worldwide venture and PE investment in satellite technology companies. Venture investment into satellite companies has been on a rocket-like trajectory since 2012, following a long fallow period. Although it isn’t pictured here, the last “major” satellite boom peaked in 2006, when there were five venture deals closed with satellite companies worldwide, according to our data set. Let’s take a look at some of the major players in the satellite sector. Below you can find a chart showing the most-funded private companies currently operating in the industry. We ranked them by total funding, which includes private equity rounds raised after traditional VC rounds (like seed, Series A, etc.). In general, these satellite companies are clustered around three different themes: broadband internet delivery, hardware development and satellite-enabled services. On the broadband front, we find a significant concentration of capital. It’s not just because internet connectivity is such a big market (it is), but it also takes a lot of capital to develop and deploy the satellites needed to build a viable service network. That’s part of the reason why  SoftBank  invested $1 billion in  a $1.2 billion private equity round  raised by  OneWeb  back in 2016

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Satellite startups turn to reinventing broadband, mapping and other industries

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