For Your Information: A New Approach to Connectivity—Why We Invested in Mangata Networks
We’re excited to announce our lead investment in the $33 million Series A funding round of Mangata Networks alongside Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Scotland’s national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, and South Korean telco KT’s satcoms provider KTSat.
Mangata Networks is an exciting new satellite-enabled telecommunication services company that is transforming the way the world interacts with information. Its innovative architecture leverages highly elliptical orbit (HEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations, in addition to a terrestrial system of MangataEdge™ micro data centers, to extend the cloud and other telecom services to the edge of the network.
The company’s innovative approach will create a constellation of data transmission waypoints with B2B applications in aeromobility, maritime, government, energy, wholesale capacity, 5G, edge compute and IoT. Such a difficult and important challenge requires experience. The company is founded by veterans of the space satellite and fiber network industry who have already successfully built leading companies.
We are unbelievably excited to begin deploying Mangata’s satellite system and MangataEdge™ micro data centers. Mangata’s founders have impressed us with their ability to identify a strong unaddressed need in the market, to build a team of established leaders in the industry, and to innovate with a differentiated product.
The Advantage of Mangata’s Approach
Traditionally, satellite data services have been provided by large, expensive geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites with about 20 year service lives. These GEO satellites have been in use since the 1960s. One key element of GEO satellites is they provide coverage over a fixed area of Earth, and in order to maintain stable orbit, they are positioned far from the planet’s surface (about 22K miles, 1/10 distance to the moon), where they orbit at the same speed as Earth.
The complexity, cost, and long life span of these satellites means that they are technically outdated by the time they launch and become even more outdated as they age and as communications technology advances. Other downsides include high latency (due to their distance from the earth) and the aforementioned lack of global coverage.
More recently, there’s been a surge in companies developing and deploying constellations of smaller lower cost communications satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) designed to provide data services to consumers and business applications.
The idea behind Mangata Networks is to create an Earth-orbiting constellation with some satellites in highly elliptical orbit (HEO), plus others in medium Earth orbit (MEO). Those satellites would optimize connectivity with an Earth-based system of MangataEdge™ micro data centers, extending the power of cloud computing to edge networks that would be close to network users. Its single unified network will provide scalable B2G and B2B connectivity that is both affordable and accessible to anyone, anywhere on the planet.
Learning from Experience
Mangata’s founding team was essentially responsible for the architecture of both the original currently operational O3b constellation as well as the currently being deployed OneWeb constellation.
After raising $1.2B and deploying its initial 9 operational MEO satellites, O3b was acquired for ~$2.3 billion including cash out and remaining debt assumption. Notably the O3b constellation and its follow-on O3b mPOWER satellites are in a MEO orbit focused on the equator which was designed to give good coverage to certain point to point urban connections closer to the equator but is poorly suited to serve a more global market including mobility applications such as aircraft, ocean ships, and other higher latitude applications.
The founding team at Mangata is focused on creating a new highly optimized hybrid HEO/MEO satellite communications architecture that they feel addresses the specific demonstrated and burgeoning needs of market demand in several under-served and growing satellite data segments at a significantly lower COGS (than GEO or other NGSO satellite offerings) while allowing incremental buildout of the constellation with early and robust revenue generation at each stage.
Information without Boundaries
We are honored and excited to be a part of Mangata Networks’ story as they build a bridge between connectivity and access, weaving in endless possibilities for businesses and communities to share, learn from each other, and prosper. Learn more at www.mangatanetworks.com