Kepler Communications will use the money to launch its first small satellite in 2017.
Toronto-based Kepler Communications wants to launch a series of small satellites into space so connected machines can transmit information, no matter where they are in the world.
The company raised $5 million, it said Tuesday, in a round led by New York-based IA Ventures, with participation from Joe Montana’s firm Liquid 2 Ventures. Kepler, which graduated from Techstars Seattle this spring, said Globalive Capital, BDC and angel investors also contributed.
CEO Mina Mitry calls the system a “cellphone tower in space” — but the satellites will not serve cellphones. Rather, they will help any Internet of Things device communicate data.
Mitry uses the example of a truck completing a mining operation in the remote desert. The truck will still be able to send information to operators using the satellites, which are the size of a loaf of bread. Objects in space will also be able to quickly send information back to Earth.
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Kepler plans to launch its first satellites into space by the end of 2017, using yet-to-be-announced launch partners.
The company is back in its home of Toronto after spending three months this spring in Seattle to participate in the Techstars accelerator program. Techstars, which offers training and mentoring services to startups, also invested in Kepler’s funding round.
It’s been easier to recruit in the Canadian city, Mitry said, without the steep competition from Seattle-area tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft.
Kepler has six employees and plans to double that number by the end of the year.