In a boost to the Australian New Space sector, HorizonX, a venture capital subsidiary of U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, is set to invest U.S.$15 million in Australian enterprise Myriota, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup focusing on satellite communications to provide low-cost access to high-value data in remote locations.
Myriota is developing technology enabling two-way communication between ground-based micro-transmitters and low Earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellites to securely share data 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. Founded in 2015 through the University of South Australia’s Institute for Telecommunications Research, the startup’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 Alex Grant, CEO of Myriota. “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 HorizonX Ventures’ provides funding to chosen startups and connects them with Boeing’s worldwide network of resources. Its investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing 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.
This investment in Myriota is Boeing HorizonX’s first in a company outside of the U.S., and its tenth since launching in April 2017.
“Part of the mission of Boeing HorizonX is to pursue and accelerate innovations coming out of startups around the world,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX. “By investing in Myriota, we are proud to support Australia’s startup ecosystem and growing space industry.”
“Myriota’s technology influences how we think about space-based communications and connectivity in remote locations,” Nordlund added.
For Boeing in Australia, Myriota is the latest example of the company’s continued investment in Australian technology that spans internal R&D, suppliers and partners, and universities. Myriota is based in Adelaide, and joins Boeing’s expanding presence in this city, including an AU$500,000 (U.S.$383,000) investment over five years in the Adelaide-based Techstars global accelerator programme to support local startups.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries. With more than 3,000 employees, Boeing in Australia has a broad portfolio of aerospace capabilities across the country.