IoT startup Skylo raises $103m Series B round led by SoftBank

Alonzo Simpson
January 23, 2020

Skylo's business is based on connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including sensors, industrial equipment, logistics hardware and more, to satellite networks that use the cellular-based narrow-band IoT protocol.

Skylo raised $13 million in a Series A investment round led by DCM Ventures and Innovation Endeavors with participation by Boeing HorizonX and Moore Strategic Ventures. Startup Skylo, which emerged from stealth today with a $ 103 million Series B financing announcement, is one of the players that makes it possible in an affordable way.

Skylo's value proposition lies in bringing instant, affordable, and a ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to millions of machines, sensors, and devices, even in remote geographies.

The hubs are 8-by-8-inch boxes that can be installed on fishing boats, in railway carriages, as well as other machinery, Skylo says.

"Skylo lives up to the definition of a disruptive innovation - with its low costs, it will enable millions of unconnected devices to experience the transformative effects of connectivity - saving lives, enhancing livelihoods and creating connections where they didn't exist before", elaborated Terry Kramer, Skylo Board Chairman and former US Ambassador.

When Skylo's satellite network launches this summer, the first customer will be India's national railway system. The idea to connect every imaginable object to the internet has been the dream of many companies.

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The company has developed a different way of rolling out NB-IoT LTE networks, using geostationary communications satellites to connect numerous Skylo Hubs (or gateways) on the earth.

The company claims that its technology can enable IoT connectivity enable operations in remote businesses, increase safety, drive economic development, job creation and also help in disaster preparedness. The company's customers includes enterprise and government entities in a range of industries including automotive, railways, agriculture and maritime.

The company describes itself as "building the most affordable and accessible network to mobilize the world's machine data".

Skylo has been testing its technology in devices, vehicles and vessels in emerging markets for six to nine months, Trivedi said.

Skylo costs 95 per cent less than existing satellite solutions, with connectivity starting at just $1 per user and hardware that costs less than $100, the company said in a statement. The company's current board of directors includes board chairman and former United States ambassador Terry Kramer, David Chao of DCM, Scott Brady of Innovation Endeavors, Harpinder Singh of Innovation Endeavors, and Skylo CEO Trivedi. San Mateo, California-based Skylo Technologies Inc. has an ambitious plan to address this need that involves geostationary satellites and an eight-by-eight-inch electronics box. The startup said that it's running commercial trials with several other organizations in the USA and elsewhere.

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