Singapore’s internet connectivity startup, Transcelestial Technologies has raised US$9.6 million in Series A funding round co- led by EDBI and Wavemaker Partners.
The funding round was also joined by 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.
Established in 2016, Transcelestial Technologies is building what it claims to be a space laser network to “deliver a step-change in internet connectivity globally”.
The startup develops the fastest, long-distance, point-to-point wireless communication network possible. It will be delivered as a space data network for terrestrial and satellite applications, which will use lasers to transfer data at up to 1000 times faster than what is currently available. The network will not need any spectrum pre-allocation or regulation.
“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.
The company had developed Centauri, a mass- produced network device that grasped its trademarked Wireless Laser Communication Technology to create wireless distribution networks between physical infrastructures.
The device is just the size of a shoe- box that weighs less than 3kg which is capable of delivering fibre-like speeds to customers. It is not only rapidly- deployable but also is a 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).
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).
Eversince the world has been struck with the COVID- 19 pandemic, the importance of last-mile connectivity to homes, offices and cell towers (which in turn bring data to 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.”