Mangata Networks, which is a Phoenix-based business with Seattle ties, has raised $33 million for an innovative satellite constellation for edge computing and connectivity. Invention Science Fund, based in Bellevue and supported by Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and IV’s co-founder Nathan Myhrvold, provided the company with its inaugural seed funding in 2020. Since then, that investment fund has evolved into MetaVC Partners or Meta Venture Partners, a Bay Area venture capital firm.
Mangata Networks’ goal is to build an Earth-orbiting constellation that includes some satellites in HEO (highly elliptical orbit) and others in medium Earth orbit (MEO). These satellites would optimize communication with an Earth-centered system of MangataEdge mini data centers, bringing the leverage of cloud computing to edge networks near network users.
Playground Global led the newly revealed Series A investment, having previously managed Relativity Space’s $35 million Series B financing in 2018. Temasek, KTSat, Scottish Enterprise, and Promus Ventures are among the other investors. In a press release issued, Mangata CEO Brian Holz stated, “We are trying to transform the world, and that needs visionary investors and partners.” “These investors are promoting a new transformation in human connectivity, and their transcontinental representation echoes our worldwide objective.”
Mangata intends to begin establishing ground-based community networks in 2023, well before the first satellites are deployed. The 5G Open Innovation Lab in Bellevue, as well as additional trial facilities in South Korea and Scotland, will allow the business to test connections for 5G, IoT, and Wi-Fi networks. (In 2020, NASA, Intel, and T-Mobile established the 5G Open Innovation Lab.)
Mangata’s present offices are in Phoenix, while Jerome Hewlett, who is the chief commercial officer, and his team are situated in the Seattle region. Denver, Singapore, Scotland, and South Korea are among the company’s other locations. According to the present schedule, eight HEO satellites will be launched first, paving the way for coverage in the Northern Hemisphere to begin in 2024. The network would eventually expand to 791 satellites, offering global coverage.
Mangata isn’t the only company with enormous aspirations for satellite-centered data networks: SpaceX’s Starlink network is the industry leader, while Telesat, Boeing, OneWeb, Amazon, and Astra are among the others. Holz stated the HEO satellite arrangement would provide Mangata an edge when it comes to quickly ramp up service in a 2020 conversation with Space News.