The Canadian space startup has raised $92 million in Series C funding to expand the capabilities of its growing deployment of small satellites in low Earth orbit that deliver the internet to other objects circling the planet
The firm has raised $200 million in equity since 2016, and the latest round of funding is earmarked for the launch of optical data relay infrastructure next year, broadening the company’s existing radio frequency infrastructure.
The broader project aims to deliver data to and from spacecraft in real time, with plans to launch two Pathfinder satellites this Autumn that will test and validate optical communications technology that would enable higher-speed data relays to weather satellites and even the International Space Station.
It plans to then launch an optical data relay infrastructure and bring optical services to customers by early 2025, launching more satellites to increase service levels and handle higher data volumes, in a statement from CEO Mina Mistry.
While Kepler’s project is more focused on enabling constant connectivity for orbiting craft and satellites, the announcement marks the latest development in the broader satellite connectivity industry, with OneWeb recently completing its planned constellation through the launch 36 satellites, while Inmarsat recently expanded its partnership with Taiwanese chip manufacturer MediaTek to deliver commercial direct-to-satellite solutions.