CesiumAstro Inc., a developer of advanced aerospace communication systems, announced it has secured $60 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round, co-led by Airbus Ventures and Forever Ventures, with strategic participation from L3Harris Technologies. Returning investors include Kleiner Perkins, Lavrock Ventures, Franklin Templeton Blackhorse Fund, and HEICO.
CesiumAstro has raised nearly $90 million in capital since its founding in 2017. With this latest financing, Cesium will accelerate the growth of its core research, development, and rapid manufacturing capabilities and expand its facilities both domestically and abroad.
“We are honored to have strong support from our new and existing investors. With their backing, we are now set to scale the Company and realize the full potential of our proprietary technology,” remarked Shey Sabripour, founder and CEO of CesiumAstro. “This investment is a key endorsement of our ability to deliver advanced communication systems to both our commercial and defense customers and fully secures our growth trajectory.”
Cesium’s products are designed to address a wide set of applications, including satellite and drone communications, missile defense and in-flight connectivity. At the heart of these products is their unparalleled ability to deliver the full stack of active electronically steered arrays, realizing the full benefit of active phased array technologies, Cesium offers a modular ecosystem of hardware and software with RF and antenna front-ends that cover critical space frequency allocations, along with a common reconfigurable digital back-end to address mission needs for high-throughput communication, under even the tightest budgetary and schedule constraints.
“As a fast-rising industry leader achieving ambitious communications system designs, CesiumAstro is uniquely positioned to fully optimize spectrum usage and accelerate cost-efficient modes of advanced connectivity. Airbus Ventures is proud to be co-leading this round, alongside the force-multiplying capabilities of the Forever Ventures team,” added Airbus Ventures Managing Partner Thomas d’Halluin. “Now the company can load up a new raft of achievements, transforming in-flight and in-orbit communications to meet the widening array of new challenges ahead.”
“We are beyond excited to participate in CesiumAstro’s fundraise. The company’s satellite systems enable a new era in communication and radio-frequency sensing, making next-generation communication networks both affordable and easy,” added Phillip Sarofim of Forever Ventures. “Deploying smaller, more efficient constellations of satellites allows private enterprises to create secure next-generation networks in orbit, an unprecedented step in reliably connecting our world.”
Encompassing over 80 engineers, scientists and business professionals with in-house rapid prototyping and environmental test capability, the company has grown a full suite of capabilities across development, production and deployment of high reliability systems.
“CesiumAstro’s full-stack system is critical to enabling higher connectivity speeds within our evolving aerial and space communications infrastructure. Its high resiliency improves security, streamlines airline connectivity offerings, and enhances internet access in rural and over-crowded areas,” commented Dr. Wen Hsieh, partner at Kleiner Perkins.
“Teaming with CesiumAstro reflects our strategy of partnering across industry to rapidly develop advanced multi-domain solutions that address our customers’ critical needs,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, vice chair and chief executive officer, L3Harris. “Incorporating CesiumAstro’s technologies will enhance our existing resilient space and communications solutions, while we collaborate with their agile technical team to help develop entirely new approaches that drive our next-generation innovations.”
CesiumAstro is set to deploy several additional assets into space later this year, with targeted launch dates to be announced in the coming months.
Egan Nelson LLP acted as legal advisor to CesiumAstro. PJT Partners acted as financial advisor to CesiumAstro on this transaction.