Astranis, a startup developing small geostationary satellites, has raised $250 million in a funding round that values the company at $1.4 billion, as reported a space news website.
Funds managed by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, led the Series C financing round.
Astranis has raised funding to expand its microsatellite platform, following a $90 million debt and equity round in February 2020.
At around 350 kilograms, the venture is developing one of the smallest geostationary spacecraft in the commercial industry.
Astranis is focusing on the affordable broadband market. One of its first customers is U.S.-based Pacific Dataport, which will lease the 7.5 gigabits per second capacity on its first commercial satellite for internet services across Alaska.
John Gedmark, CEO and Co-founder, Astranis, said, “We already had the funding in hand to start service with our first commercial satellite, the satellite we’re launching later this year for Alaska.
“This additional capital allows us to scale up our production capabilities, including a new facility where we can build dozens and then hundreds of satellites.”
Astranis will use proceeds to accelerate research and development for next-generation platforms. These include software-defined radio technology that it says improves satellite performance and flexibility, ultimately lowering price points for end-consumers because spacecraft can be built more easily at scale.
The company also wants to expand beyond using Ka-band spectrum to higher frequency Q- and V-band, which are largely unused.