Boeing and its venture fund, HorizonX Ventures, joined Singtel Innov8 and Australian VC firms Main Sequence Ventures, Blue Sky Venture Capital and Right Click Capital in this round of seed funding. It is, globally, the largest round announced to date for a tech start-up using Space 2.0 for internet of things (IoT). It is also the first investment outside the US for HorizonX Ventures.
Myriota is developing small, low-cost, low-power transmitters that connect directly to satellites in orbit. The investment by Boeing will contribute to Myriota’s recent funding rounds to launch satellites the size of shoeboxes to orbit 500 kilometers above Earth, as part of an IoT network.
Founded in Adelaide in 2015 as a spin-out from the University of South Australia, Myriota is looking to become the key communications network for the global IoT sector. This market is set to have 27 billion connected devices generating a revenue of US$3 trillion per annum by 2025.
Myriota plans to accelerate its growth by launching more satellites, delivering revolutionary large-scale IoT deployments, and expanding its global operations. New sales and customer support offices will be opened in North America and Asia, and the business expects to add at least 50 new staff; most of whom will be based at the start-up’s South Australian headquarters. The expansion follows the recent announcement that Myriota will open a US$2 million IoT Innovation Lab, also in Adelaide.
"The internet of things has a major connectivity problem: hundreds of millions of devices that need to communicate but don’t have cost-effective, battery friendly networks to do so. Myriota solves this problem," Myriota CEO Dr Alex Grant said.
"The fact we have managed to engage such a stellar list of investors doesn’t just underline the quality of our tech and IP – it also gives us access to highly strategic resources and capabilities as we move to the next level. We are excited to have global investors like Boeing HorizonX and Singtel Innov8 supporting our mission to deliver the internet of things for everyone, everywhere."
Boeing HorizonX vice president Steve Nordlund said that as Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ first investment outside of the US, it was an important move.
"The Myriota team channelled its telecommunications expertise to develop a solution that simultaneously connects hundreds of millions of low-cost, low-powered transmitters to satellites," he said.
"This was a compelling investment for us because, as a global company, Boeing recognises and supports the innovation occurring in Australia and beyond."
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne also congratulated Myriota for becoming the first company Boeing HorizonX Ventures has invested in outside of the US.
"Investing in Australian start-ups and industry shows Australia’s capacity for competing on the world stage, and that Australia is open for business," Minister Pyne said.
"I commend Boeing for showing a willingness to invest in Australian industry. By doing so, they prove that the Australian defence industry is export ready."
In September last year, Myriota and wearable technology company IMeasureU secured funding from Defence's Next Generation Technologies Fund to develop the equivalent of a black box for soldiers, known as the ‘Fight Recorder’, which will use Myriota’s technology for emergency beaconing to locate and aid injured soldiers.
When fully developed, the Fight Recorder could provide benefits in other physically demanding occupations, including emergency services and law enforcement.