Satellite telecommunications startup Astranis has achieved a key technical milestone with its MicroGEO product, a small geosynchronous communications satellite that it will use to launch its first commercial service starting next summer for customers in Alaska. This is a big milestone for Astranis because the MicroGEO satellite test article that passed this round of thermal-vacuum qualification testing will serve as the basis for a whole planned line of first products, designed to affordably provide low-cost broadband to specific geographic markets using individual spacecraft, region by region.
YC-backed Astranis has raised $90 million of new combined debt and equity funding in a Series B round led Venrock, with a sizeable contribution by existing investor (and lead of their 2018 round) Andreessen Horowitz. The funding will be used to help the company launch its first commercial satellites, the bedrock of its future internet service offering, aimed at connecting the massive market of underserved populations around the world.
Internet satellite startup Astranis, which aims to deliver cost-effective high-speed internet to underserved markets, announced Wednesday that it has signed an exclusive agreement to provide satellite bandwidth to Alaska-based internet provider Pacific Dataport.
Under the terms of the contract, Astranis launch a single satellite in 2020 that will provide 7.5 Gbps of bandwidth. Pacific Dataport will use a portion of the available bandwidth to provide internet services to business. Those businesses include Microcom, which provides residential internet services and launched Pacific Dataport as a separate venture two years ago.
Andreessen Horowitz is venturing into space with today’s announcement that it’s leading an $18 million round in Astranis. The San Francisco-based startup is launching out of stealth today with plans to build its first commercial telecommunications satellite. Y Combinator, Fifty Years, Refactor Capital, and Indicator Fund also participated in the round.