American aircraft manufacturer Boeing has made its first venture capital investment outside the US in an Australian startup called Myriota. Myriota deals in developing software for satellites that bypasses installing much of the infrastructure required to monitor and control them. The company was started in the University of South Australia and has now managed to raise $15 million including the investment from Boeing.
Myriota operates four satellites owned by Canadian company ExactEarth which uses them to track ships. ExactEarth initially invested $2.5 million in Myriota during its seed round in 2015. Several of these “nano-satellites” are transmitting and receiving data from paid trial sites, the clients mostly being farmers that track water levels.
Boeing seeks to use that technology in its own hardware as well as investing in the future of the space industry in Australia. Likewise, Boeing’s network would be invaluable to a small company like Myriota for the proliferation of its hardware and software.
Myriota aims to solve the basic problem plaguing IoT today. The connectivity and power simply doesn’t exist to implement an IoT solution at a large scale. The company’s hardware operates at low power and is “cost-effective”, compared to other satellite tracking solutions. Myriota plans to launch a $2.72 million research lab in Adelaide and will expand its operations to North America and Asia. It projects that 50 of its own nanosatellites will be orbiting the earth within the next five years.