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Banco Santander funds Sateliot with €6m to support 5G IoT

Creator of LEO satellite constellation based on 5G standard secures additional €6m in funding through high-growth enterprise programme to total €13.5m over the past year to aid progress towards a full commercial launch

In a boost in its mission to gear up for the introduction of low-Earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellite services to support 5G communications, and in particular the internet of things (IoT), Sateliot has secured €6m in funding from Banco Santander to accelerate the development of its technology and the deployment of its constellation.

Sateliot’s stated mission is to make IoT connectivity available everywhere and for everyone. It believes that it is on track to launch the first LEO satellite constellation based on the 5G standard, allowing unmodified commercial cellular NB-IoT non-terrestrial network (NTN) devices to connect from space.

The company said that this would be the first time in history that terrestrial cellular telecommunications seamlessly merge with satellite connectivity. Sateliot added that its technology and the ability to use low-cost commercial devices, even those costing under $5, to connect to satellites opens up “endless possibilities” in the untapped market of massive IoT in remote areas.

Sateliot believes that it will be poised for significant growth in 2024 with the launch of four new satellites, marking the beginning of its commercial phase. Banco Santander’s funding and two other recent capital injections total €13.5m in less than a year. One is a participatory loan of €2.5m granted just two weeks ago by the public company Avança, and there is €5m from the convertible note issued by the company.

Sateliot also has Indra and Cellnex as industrial partners, holding 10.5% and 3.5% ownership, respectively. Additionally, Sepides holds approximately 5% of the capital.

“The completion of these three operations demonstrates the confidence that top-tier banks, regional public administrations, and other groups such as venture capital, family offices, or business angels have placed in us,” said Sateliot CEO and co-founder Jaume Sanpera commenting on the loan. “With all of them, we have created a strategic partnership that reinforces our leadership in the first ever 5G-IoT constellation.”

In July 2023, Sateliot announced that it had teamed with leading Spanish telco Telefónica to extend the reach of its 5G network to space. Working through the Telefónica Tech and Telefónica Global Solutions (TGS) divisions, Sateliot said that the achievement has been successfully tested end-to-end by providing satellite coverage extension to Telefónica’s cellular network through standard GSMA roaming. Sateliot delivered end-to-end transmission over Telefónica’s network using a regular SIM card provisioned on the Kite platform of Telefónica Tech on an IoT cellular device, switching it to Sateliot network.

Sateliot’s next strategic move will be initiating a Series B funding to finance the next phase of the satellite constellation comprising 250 nanosatellites deployed under the 5G standard, launching an additional 64 over the next 18 months. Sateliot has already secured agreements with global telecommunications operators and companies in the sector, boosting a binding orders backlog of more than €150m.

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