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Softbank infuses $103mn into IoT solutions company Skylo

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Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company Skylo has announced that it has received $103 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank Group. The California-based company, maker of affordable and ubiquitous network that connects any machine or sensor, previously raised $13 million in a funding round co-led by DCM and Innovation Endeavors and joined by Moore Strategic Ventures.

In India, Skylo has successfully built and deployed a new technology to directly connect Indian Railway coaches and their sensors over satellite. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is also utilising Skylo technology in the remote polling stations in the North-East region to monitor the election process.

Skylo costs 95 per cent less than existing satellite solutions, with connectivity starting at just $1 per user and hardware that costs less than $100, the company said in a statement.

“This low-cost, global fabric of connectivity for machine data will be transformative for entire industries,” said Parthsarathi Trivedi, Skylo co-founder and CEO.

The Skylo network is hosted on existing geostationary satellites, enabling immediate connectivity for customers, without the need to add new infrastructure in space. The existing customers include enterprise and government entities in a range of industries including automotive, railways, agriculture and maritime.

The global machine connectivity solutions company allows farmers to optimize operations by sending and receiving real-time data about growing conditions such as air temperature, moisture level or soil pH. The data can inform watering schedules, fertilizer needs, and growth cycles, resulting in lower energy costs, less water usage, and healthier crops.

Globally, there are 4.6 million fishing vessels that can now be connected for the first time over Skylo.

Skylo’s Hub connects to existing Android devices over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing fishermen to access life-saving two-way SOS communications, connect with their fleet operator, and access markets to transact their catch while still at sea, said the company. Skylo was founded in 2017 by Trivedi and currently has offices in San Mateo, California, Bengaluru and Tel Aviv.

“Skylo lives up to the definition of a disruptive innovation – with its low costs, it will enable millions of unconnected devices to experience the transformative effects of connectivity – saving lives, enhancing livelihoods and creating connections where they didn’t exist before,” elaborated Terry Kramer, Skylo Board Chairman and former US Ambassador.


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