Congratulations to Astrocast for the successful placement of CHF 40 million and floating its shares on Euronext!
Astrocast is carving the way into remote assets. This Swiss-based company developing a constellation of nanosatellites dedicated to IoT becomes public, and DAA Capital Partners zooms in on its exclusive combination of features.
L-band as the best trade-off for remote IoT devices
Compliments to Astrocast’s CEO Fabien Jordan and his team on this achievement! You’ve opened up the world of IoT devices in remote areas, united innovation in low-power and low-cost modules and chips, and demonstrated that secure bidirectional communication can be enabled from anywhere in the world. While everyone was fighting over the same areas or overseeing some of the building blocks in framing a feasible solution for remote IoT devices, Astrocast rewrote the rules of what it means to offer a new, fully integrated solution and made it possible for whole unaddressed areas of the world to take part in unprecedented applications.
The major strategic choice made by Astrocast that differentiates its product from the direct competition is the frequency band. In remote areas, with the operating frequency’s decisive impact on satellite communication as it affects key features such as energy consumption, components cost, antenna size and weather disturbance, Astrocast honed on the L-band as the best trade-off to suit remote IoT use cases. Astrocast’s key achievement and promising direction is that it is the first New Space IoT LEO network with access to L-band. The firm always believed in bridging an unmet demand for remote areas with low-cost IoT connectivity. Despite it being the toughest path, it devised the most comprehensive one to make this vision happen. This empowers many companies to effectively manage their costs by reducing expensive human intervention in remote maintenance or other operations.
Estimated forecasts and adaptations
Rethink Technology Research estimates that 25.6 million IoT devices shall be connected via satellite by 2024. However, the current offerings from established satellite operators are too expensive. They are also not adapted to most existing and new IoT applications that do not require broadband access and must keep a small form factor with low power consumption.
Astrocast’s addressable market can be defined as low data rate, low-power, low-cost, global, IoT connectivity in remote areas. Enthusiasm was high for an actionable solution regarding IoT devices in remote areas. It was a satellite communications advantage that numerous sectors had been eager to apply, all falling into 8 major market areas, namely SOS systems, Agriculture & Livestock, Connected Vehicles, Maritime, Freight & Storage, Environment and Utilities, Oil, Gas & Mining, Connected industry. “Astrocast is the most advanced global nanosatellite IoT network. Our 100-nanosatellites constellation will be complete by 2024, spanning the globe and allowing for low latency transmission” explains Astrocast.
Swiss heights but cost lows
Astrocast integrated minimalistic and agile design with complex custom-built technology in perfect synergy. It refused to compromise on functionality, so in addition to manufacturing and operating nanosatellites destined to create a network dedicated to IoT, the company also produces its own hardware devices and communication protocol, providing a fully integrated solution in Switzerland, while still managing to be the most cost-effective. This combination opens untapped and exponential doors to major areas of expertise, in line with Astrocast’s vision: “We believe in a world where IoT is global and benefits all”.
The implications mean ensuring reliable and low-power connectivity in order to monitor and oversee assets in open seas, enabling agriculture and livestock tracking from afar, filling in the gaps in fleet management, observing the smart oilfield, and keeping track of environmental global change. These nanosatellites are as small as a shoebox. The compelling advantage of their size is an easier maneuver in space, and hence fewer support systems, such as reaction wheels or thrusters. In addition, it permits a cost-efficient launch of satellites by mutualizing them on rideshare missions.
Astrocast’s complementary forefront specialists
Astrocast’s CEO, Fabien Jordan, CTO and co-founder, Federico Belloni, and their technical team have extensive experience and an outstanding track record in the satellite industry. Notably, they developed, launched, and operated the first Swiss Satellite, “SwissCube” in 2009, which currently holds the record for being the longest operating CubeSat satellite. Astrocast’s CFO, Kjell Karlsen, has strong experience in the launch services industry and was the former President of Sea Launch, a US corporation that has launched over 39 payloads. The business development team is led by a US veteran of the machine-to-machine industry with over 25 years of experience in space, building sales and partnership ecosystems for hardware companies such as Digi and MultiTech, and end-customers such as Coca-Cola Federal Express, and Stanley Tools, among others. Proximity with EPFL also provides Astrocast access to world-class researchers, engineering talents, labs, testing facilities for development.
Here at DAA Capital Partners, we are proud of what Astrocast has accomplished. It’s been an honor to work with the team and we are wishing Astrocast every success as a public company.