UbiquitiLink, a commercial space startup providing mobile connectivity for everyone, everywhere, today announced that it has raised $5.2 million in “Seed 2 round” financing from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Blazar Ventures. This brings the company’s total funding to date to $12 million and will accelerate development of the company’s commercial service with a series of five space test flights of its technology.
Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution and Co-founder of AOL, stated, “UbiquitiLink’s mission of providing everyone, everywhere with mobile connectivity is well aligned with the focus of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed fund. Revolution is excited to invest in technology that is helping to provide global connectivity and is designed to have a significant economic and social impact in rural and remote communities.”
Charles Miller, co-founder and CEO of UbiquitiLink and a former senior NASA official, added, “Our ability to connect satellites directly to mobile phones anywhere on Earth solves a fundamental economic problem that limits coverage in remote areas. It is economically unaffordable to build cell towers on the ground in communities with low population densities. We are building this solution for the 88 million Americans who live in rural areas and lose coverage at the edge of town. We are also building this solution for the 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have a mobile phone, many because they are not connected where they live and work.”
UbiquitiLink’s breakthrough technology provides universal global connectivity directly to standard cell phones using a network of low-earth-orbit nanosatellites. The UbiquitiLink service also provides a safety net for people working in remote locations — in the future anybody will be able to use 911 from anywhere. The service also creates a highly reliable means for alerting people to impending natural disasters and instant backup and recovery from disasters that destroy communication networks — something desired by relief agencies and first-responders around the world.
Mark Foster, Founding Partner at Blazar Ventures, said, “Blazar is a founding investor in UbiquitiLink and is delighted to continue to support Charles and his unique team and technology. UbiquitiLink is poised to unlock the next growth spurt in the now-flat $1 trillion global mobile industry by providing cost-effective connectivity everywhere on the planet. We’re pleased to have the Revolution team join us.” Mark was previously the founder of the telecom services provider Neustar, and is the inventor of telephone number portability.
Earlier this year, UbiquitiLink successfully launched and tested the world’s first “cell tower in space” which demonstrated a link margin that was within 1 dB of theoretical predictions. Later this month, the world’s second “cell tower in space” will be launched to orbit to test both LTE (4G) and GSM (2G) connectivity. Space testing will begin in August, which will be followed by the launch of operational satellites and initial commercial services in 2020.
UbiquitiLink’s patented technology allows standard cell phones, without any changes in hardware or software, to be connected virtually anywhere on the globe using low-earth-orbit nanosatellites. The UbiquitiLink network will provide connectivity in the most isolated areas, providing a safety net to people in remote locations. For more information, visit www.ubiquitilink.com or follow us on Twitter @UbiquitiLink.
About Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 10,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 38 cities. In 2017, Case and JD Vance announced the $150 million Revolution Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, backed by a group of iconic entrepreneurs, executives and investors that believe the next great startup investments are located outside of coastal cities. The Fund invests catalytic capital, often alongside regional investors, to the most promising early stage investments in Rise of the Rest cities. Through our bus tours and summits, we look to create a more connected community of entrepreneurs and investors in cities outside of Silicon Valley. For more information, please visit: www.revolution.com/rotr or follow us on Twitter @RiseOfRest.
About Blazar Ventures
Blazar Ventures is an early stage venture development firm. Blazar was formed by the founders of NeuStar: Jeff Ganek, Mark Foster, and Robert Poulin. NeuStar created ecosystems of shared data and users by enabling interoperability across fragmented industries – e.g. NeuStar invented and operationalized telephone number portability for the telecommunications industry. Blazar is pursuing unprecedented opportunities to build new ventures that enable interoperability of data across industry-wide communities in a range of markets: telecom, digital identity, security, and others. To pursue, capture and scale these opportunities Blazar’s ventures build and operate industry-wide platforms that often act as clearinghouses. As former operators, Blazar not only provides early stage capital but also assumes a hands-on role in the development of each of its ventures. For more information please visit: www.blazarventures.com.