ELSE, a Swiss company that provides internet connectivity to IoT and M2M applications through its network of low-earth-orbit (LEO) nanosatellites raised a $3M seed round. Airbus Ventures led the round with participation from other investors as well.
ELSE, or Elegant Systems Engineering will provide a network technology called Astrocast by deploying its satellite constellation into low-earth-orbit. Initially, it will deploy two demo satellites followed by the launch of 64 satellites in the first quarter of 2019.
Astrocast enables companies to monitor remote assets and machines. It consists of a terminal, satellites, a ground station, and cloud system that provide REST APIs.
After an IoT application/system is integrated to Astrocast’s NanoLink terminal, assets/machines can send sensor data to the company’s low-orbit satellites. From the satellites, data is transmitted to a ground station from where it is sent to Astrocast’s cloud system. Hereon, the data is accessible from REST web services. A key value proposition is that a company can track sensor-based data of ‘things’ (assets) without building its own communication network.
Interestingly, Thuraya, the renowned mobile satellite operator, has formed an alliance with ELSE. Thuraya is also helping the latter with sales and regulatory issues. “This agreement forms the foundation of an extensive framework and exciting long term collaboration towards providing a progressive platform for our partners to offer services beyond basic satellite connectivity,” said Thuraya’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jassem Nasser.
Thuraya plans to offer connectivity for M2M and IoT applications. Its alliance with ELSE will help the company offer these services to its existing and new client base.