Australian-based Fleet Space Technologies says it has a whopping 3 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices in line to use its services, including “Several Fortune 500 companies.” An initial goal of signing up one million devices was met within 24 hours, with the company wait-listing another two million devices. Now the company needs to raise cash to build and launch another 10 satellites to keep up with customer demand.
Project Galaxy, the company’s push to sign up customers, offers $2 per device per year, with devices communicating with Fleet’s satellites and others through a $2000 gateway providing satellite connectivity, local wireless connectivity via LoRa and WiFi, and edge processing.
Fleet’s next 10 satellites will be larger 6U cubesats about the size of a larger shoebox (30cm x 20 cm x 10 cm). The company’s four current satellites in orbit range in size from battery-powered 1.5U to solar-powered 3U models. Several companies are shifting from 3U to 6U size, including Hiber and Kepler Communication.
Building and launching cubesats still requires capital. In an interview with Space News, Fleet co-founder/CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said the company needs to raise more than its $3.8 million seed money for construction and launch, with the hope to have the new satellites in order by early 2020. Swarm Technologies raised a Series A round of $25 million while Kepler’s A round was $14 million, so Fleet likely needs to raise a minimum of $15 million. Fleet will also have to compete with other IoT start-ups for funding, with Hiber currently working on a large round.