Home / Tech / News / Bill Gates invests $78 million in satellite antenna firm Kymeta

Bill Gates invests $78 million in satellite antenna firm Kymeta

Microsoft founder Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (AFP)

Gates's firm, which has invested in at least one other funding round, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Billionaire Bill Gates is leading satellite antenna firm Kymeta’s latest funding round with a $78 million investment, the company’s president told Reuters.

Redmond, Washington-based Kymeta, which sells pizza box-sized antennas for installation on cars, trains and boats, secured $85.2 million in capital. It plans to launch a monthly subscription service for satellite-based internet to government customers later this year, Kymeta President and COO Walter Berger said in an interview.

“The thesis here is to advance connectivity on a global basis. Cellular doesn’t do that,” he said.

Gates's firm, which has invested in at least one other funding round, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Kymeta antennas mainly link with satellites in high orbital altitudes and can link to remote places as well moving planes and vehicles.

A range of companies, like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, are building networks of satellites in low-Earth orbit, an expensive and high-risk endeavor that has sent satellite operator OneWeb into bankruptcy.

Kymeta’s funding round comes on the heels of acquiring satellite service provider Lepton Global Solutions LLC, cementing a key government customer base and gaining access to 17 communications satellites in orbit.

The company plans to launch a satellite antenna bundle by the end of 2020 for $1,000 a month, Berger said.

Kymeta has been in discussions with various companies building low-Earth orbit satellite constellations, Berger said.

Reporting By Joey Roulette.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews, also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.