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SoftBank Makes Big Investment in Satellite IoT Startup Skylo

By Rachel Jewett | January 21, 2020

    Photo: Skylo

    Skylo has emerged from stealth mode with $116 million in total funding. The new Series B round raised $103 million, led by SoftBank Group and joined by all existing investors. The company had previously raised $13 million in a Series A round that was co-led by DCM and Innovation Endeavors, and joined by Moore Strategic Ventures

    Skylo plans to bring instant, affordable and ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to millions of machines, sensors and devices, even in remote geographies. The company says its solutions costs 95% less than existing satellite solutions, with connectivity starting at just $1 per user and hardware that costs less than $100. Skylo says it is the world’s first company to leverage the cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) protocol via satellite, and that its customers include enterprise and government entities in industries such as automotive, railways, agriculture, and maritime.

    Skylo was founded in 2017 by CEO Parth Trivedi, CTO Dr. Andrew Nuttall, and Chief Hub Architect Dr. Andrew Kalman. The company’s current Board of Directors includes Board Chairman former U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer, David Chao of DCM, Scott Brady of Innovation Endeavors, Harpinder “Harpi” Singh of Innovation Endeavors, and Skylo CEO Trivedi. The company plans to scale customer implementations first in India and other emerging markets. Skylo’s service will be commercially available later this summer and the company is in commercial trials with users in the U.S. and other world regions .

    “Skylo’s satellite technology creates an affordable way to connect more of the physical world to the internet, even in remote areas,” said Yoshi Segawa, vice president at SoftBank Group. “Skylo’s antenna technology and use of the narrowband internet of things protocol is revolutionary.”