Israeli nano satellite co SkyFi raises $3m

SkyFi aims to bring Internet connectivity to the entire globe with a network of 60 satellites costing less than one conventional satellite. 

Israeli startup SkyFi (formerly known as NSL Comm) has raised $3 million from Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and Liberty Israel Venture Fund, a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (Nasadq: LMCA, LMCB, LMCK). This is the company's first fund raising round.

SkyFi was founded by CEO Raz Itzhaki Tamir, COO Daniel Rockberger and CTO Danny Spirtus. It has developed a nano satellite with a flexible sub-reflector which it aims to use to provide Internet access from everywhere on the planet. The technology was unveiled at the Microsoft Think Next event in Tel Aviv today.

The company said in its announcement, "Universal Internet access has been unfeasible due to current satellite technology, which makes satellites costly to launch, prone to operational error, and thus financially risky for those who send them into space.

"SkyFi’s innovation revolves around a flexible sub-reflector that compensates for any reflector shape imperfections. This does away with expensive, poor performing satellites by enabling a nano satellite to be sent into space with a 55cm diameter antenna folded up, greatly reducing launch load and costs. Once in orbit, the satellite’s antenna expands and the proprietary flexible sub-reflector enhances transmitting precision and power by as much as 500x.

"Putting 60 such satellites into space using SkyFi technology would bring Internet connectivity to the entire globe and would be less expensive than the current cost of putting one satellite into space.

"Such a constellation of satellites would enable 1 gigabit per second communication bandwidth from anywhere on the planet. Moreover, SkyFi’s technology allows satellite owners to change the pattern of coverage on Earth while a satellite is in orbit, something that has not been possible to date."

SkyFi co-founder and CEO Raz Itzhaki Tamir said, “The high flexibility of our nano satellites and the ability to provide multiple services to different customers enables us to offer free internet access to the whole planet in the same manner as GPS services are free. We think this has the potential to bridge great divides and give everyone worldwide a part in the great global connected community.”

Members of the SkyFi team have filed over 20 patents combined, and have worked at Israeli Aerospace Industries, RaySat Broadcasting and Gilat Satellite Network, among others.

“We’re impressed with SkyFi’s strong team and see the huge potential of this disruptive technology. We envision a great future for this company and are very excited to have led a significant round of investment in them” said JVP Managing Partner Raffi Kesten.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 25, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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