Adelaide-based Myriota, an Internet of Things (IoT) start-up seeking to revolutionise satellite communications by providing low-cost access to high-value data in remote locations, has recently attracted investment from Boeing.
Myriota developed technology enabling two-way communications between ground-based micro-transmitters and low Earth orbit nanosatellites to securely share data over narrow bandwidths. The direct-to-orbit platform enables massive-scale, low-cost communications for IoT devices anywhere on Earth.
Founded in 2015, Myriota builds on the work of its founders with the University of South Australia's Institute for Telecommunications Research.
"We formed Myriota to solve a major connectivity problem: hundreds of millions of devices that need to communicate but don't have cost-effective, battery-friendly networks to do so," said Myriota CEO Alex Grant. "The scale of this investment, with strong domestic venture capital leadership and strategic participation by global investors is significant for Myriota, and our vision to deliver IoT connectivity for everyone, everywhere."
Myriota plans to accelerate its growth by launching more satellites, delivering large-scale IoT deployments, and expanding its global operations. New sales and customer support offices will be opened in North America and Asia, and the business expects to add at least 50 new staff, predominantly at the start-up’s SA headquarters. The expansion follows the recent announcement that Myriota will open a US$2 million Internet of Things Innovation Lab.
Boeing HorizonX Ventures' investment in Myriota is its first in a company outside of the U.S.
"Part of the mission of Boeing HorizonX is to pursue and accelerate innovations coming out of startups around the world. By investing in Myriota, we are proud to support Australia's start-up ecosystem and growing space industry," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX. "Myriota's technology influences how we think about space-based communications and connectivity in remote locations."
Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, welcomed Boeing's investment. “Investing in Australian startups and industry shows Australia’s capacity for competing on the world stage, and that Australia is open for business,” Minister Pyne said.
“I commend Boeing for showing a willingness to invest in Australian industry. By doing so, they prove that the Australian defence industry is export ready.”
Boeing participated in a $15 million funding round led by Australian firms Blue Sky Venture Capital and Main Sequence Ventures, which manages the CSIRO Innovation Fund.
The IoT market is set to have 27 billion connected devices generating a revenue of $3tn per annum by 2025. The growth of IoT technology has major implications for Defence, specifically in wearable tech and drone swarms.
In 2017, Myriota was selected in partnership with ImeasureU, a wearable tech company, to develop a soldier-worn system aimed at capturing valuable data on the battlefield. The device, known as 'Fight Recorder', would also serve as a beacon to guide first responders to battlefield casualties.
Raytheon has recently announced that it is developing technology to direct swarms of autonomous air and ground vehicles using operator speech or gestures. The research will be run under DARPA's Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics Program.