Internet access does not exist outside Earth.
That might not be surprising now, but it should be when you consider that many expect the space economy to be worth $1.4 trillion come 2030. It is why moving the “internet of space” – a network of satellites that blankets the sky with global connectivity for various applications (think: connectivity for everything from new and existing satellite constellations to space tourism) – from an idea to a reality is critical for that market to flourish.
That is exactly what Kepler Communications is doing. Its mission “to connect people and things everywhere, on earth and beyond” is exactly why we are so excited to invest in and take part in the company’s Series B funding. (Based in Toronto, Kepler also recently received nearly $4 million in funding from the Canadian government which will further fund future milestones.)
Kepler is building a constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites that provide 1) better enterprise terrestrial connectivity and 2) a space-to-space communication network that acts as in-space “routers” to provide a real-time data relay from satellites to terrestrial ground stations. In a few words, Kepler is creating super-fast internet in orbit and beyond.
This is an incredibly exciting proposition when you consider the progress made in just a few years. The company has 15 CubeSats in orbit with delay-tolerant terrestrial applications operating. (For example, providing bulk data backup for customers and data transfer from one location to another.) Its current constellation focuses on enterprise use cases within maritime, agriculture, government, and aviation.
Deepak and I have actually had the pleasure of knowing Mina Mitry (CEO) since 2016 when we met Kepler at the Creative Destruction Lab, an accelerator at the University of Toronto. As mentors for the program, we have enjoyed getting to know the team over the years. We have continued to be impressed with the team’s execution, capital efficiency, and accomplishments for an early-stage space company, and are excited to finally get the opportunity to formally partner together on their next chapter of growth.
In less than five years and $21 million raised, Kepler has gone from just an idea to Canada’s largest satellite operator. The 80-person team has successfully launched 15 satellites and also operates the first vertically integrated smallsat communications network.
We have seen Mina and the team methodically build a series of moats around the company over the past few years. They include the core technology (both through their software-defined radio and broad user terminal compatibility), regulation (receiving first priority status to operate their network in high-throughput spectrum bands), and satellite production (bringing manufacturing in-house and lowering costs to 1/10th of alternatives). When combined with proven execution, we believe firmly that Kepler has the unique ability to win in this greenfield market.
Through our investments in other “space infrastructure” companies (see our work with Skybox, Capella, and Astra), we know that while the space economy is massive, it’s also only accelerating. We are excited to partner with Kepler on their journey to build the internet in space.