Transcelestial Technologies, a last-mile internet connectivity startup based out of Singapore, has secured a US$9.6M in Series A round of investment, co-led by EDBI and Wavemaker Partners.
Also joined the round are Airbus Ventures, the VC arm of Airbus; Cap Vista, the strategic investment arm of the Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore; Partech; and Tekton Ventures.
Existing investors, including Entrepreneur First, SEEDS Capital, Charles Songhurst (Microsoft’s former Head of Corporate Strategy), and Ajay Shah (who runs technology programmes at a senior level in Standard Chartered Bank), also co-invested.
Founded in December 2016, Transcelestial is building what it claims to be a space laser network to “deliver a step-change in internet connectivity globally”.
The startup has developed Centauri, a mass-produced network device that leverages its proprietary Wireless Laser Communication Technology to create a wireless distribution network between buildings, traditional cell towers, street-level poles and other physical infrastructure.
It is the size of a shoe-box weighing less than 3kg and is capable of delivering fibre-like speeds to customers. It is a rapidly-deployable, low-cost and high-speed solution, which can be used in dense residential areas that require bandwidth upgrades.
Two versions of the device are available — 1 Gbps Full Duplex (4G & Enterprise ready) and 10 Gbps Full Duplex (5G-ready).
“With the Series A capital raise, we are now working actively to get Centauri in the hands of customers globally within the next 12 months. In order to deliver on this global promise, we have set up a manufacturing capability which will scale into the world’s largest for production of CENTAURI class Wireless Fibre Optics devices,” said Dr. Mohammad Danesh, CTO and Co-founder of Transcelestial.
“This will bring our groundbreaking proprietary technology of real time optical alignment and weather compensation to within a commercial price point,” he added.
In 2018, Transcelestial raised US$1.8 million in seed funding.
The startup’s other investors include Entrepreneur First, 500 Startups, AirTree Ventures, SGInnovate, SparkLabs Global Ventures, Michael Seibel (CEO of Y-Combinator), Charles Songhurst (Microsoft’s former Head of Corporate Strategy), Josh Manchester(Champion Hill Labs).
With the sudden advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of last-mile connectivity to our homes, offices and cell towers (which in turn bring data to your phones) has become critical. Almost every country has seen a 35-45 per cent rise in internet usage.
“As the front runner in laser communications technology, Transcelestial’s Centauri platform will help catalyse the adoption of 5G communications, a key enabler for the next wave of growth in the digital economy, including areas such as smart cities, industry 4.0 and urban mobility,” said Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI.”
“As our first investment in Singapore, we’re pleased to have such a marquee company as Transcelestial to help us widen our presence in the region, and we look forward to opening our new offices in Singapore in close partnership with the outstanding co-investors Transcelestial has attracted,”said Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner of Airbus Ventures.
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