Smallsat broadband connectivity company Astranis has completed a $250 million Series C financing round that values the company at $1.4 billion. The financing round announced Wednesday was led by funds managed by BlackRock, with significant participation from new investors Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Koch Strategic Platforms, Monashee Investment Management, and Uncorrelated Ventures.
Astranis is working to provide broadband connectivity from 350 kg satellites in Geostationary Orbit (GEO), what it calls MicroGEO satellites. Astranis launched its first test satellite into orbit in 2018 and now has a satellite in assembling, integration, and testing ahead of launch later this year.
The company said this first commercial satellite will triple the bandwidth available across Alaska. Astranis is partnering with Pacific Dataport Inc., a subsidiary of Alaskan satellite TV and internet provider Microcom on this program.
This new funding will be used to expand production of Astranis’s microsatellite platform and to accelerate new technology research, including on the company’s proprietary software-defined radio technology.
“We are solving one of the biggest problems facing the world today,” said Astranis co-founder and CEO John Gedmark. “Four billion people do not have reliable access to broadband internet. Getting connectivity to those who need it the most changes lives in a profound way. It empowers people to take control of their health, education, and economic situation. We’re talking about something that is now absolutely part of the base of the hierarchy of needs.” Astranis has projects in work around the globe to deploy satellites to bring connectivity to some of the world’s most underserved areas.
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, Fifty Years, ACE Early Stage Partners, Harpoon Ventures, Indicator Fund, Industry Ventures, Jaan Tallinn, Jeff Dean, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud, Jude Gomila, Refactor Capital, Rising Tide Fund, SOMA Capital, and others also participated in the round.
Astranis’ previous Series B round closed in February 2020 with $90 million in financing.