Space Tech Startup Raises $19M for GPS Alternative Satellites

Xona said its network of navigation satellites will act as a guiding ‘North Star’ for commercial and security industries

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 8, 2024

2 Min Read
Xona's satellite in orbit

Xona, a space tech startup developing a network of small navigation satellites, has closed its series A funding round with $19 million.

The round was led by Future Ventures and Seraphim Space, alongside new investors NGP Capital, Industrious Ventures, Murata Electronics, Space Capital, and Aloniq.

The Xona team, made up of navigation and space experts from SpaceX, Ford, NASA, and Blue Origin, said the funds will be used to accelerate the deployment of its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network as it ramps up to commercialization. It will also begin beta testing of its satellite service Pulsar, designed to provide precision navigation for autonomous technologies at scale.

“A century ago, people looked to the North Star for trusted guidance when other methods were unavailable,” said Brian Manning, Xona’s CEO. “AI and automation are the future – our Pulsar service aims to be for these industries what the North Star was for humanity in previous centuries.”

The network will act as an alternative to GPS with Xona saying that it offers more security, accuracy and availability, making it more suitable for autonomous systems and protecting vital national infrastructure. Possible sectors that could benefit include agriculture, automotive, and defense, according to Xona.

Related:Satellite Association Launch Aims to Enhance Global Connectivity

“After half a century of use, our dependence on GPS is absolute,” said Rob Desborough, general partner at Seraphim Space. “Outages could cause incalculable damage to the global economy, while enhancement opens up whole new industries,

“Waiting for GPS to fail, or for hostile powers to spoof it, is not an option for our security or commercial industries. Xona and the pioneering team are executing on building the GPS the modern era needs and we’re delighted to continue to support their transformative vision”.

Xona’s partners and customers include the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the U.S. Space Force and British telecommunications company Spirent.

Last August, the company received a $1.2 million contract from AFRL and the U.S. Space Force to set up a LEO positioning, navigation and timing network using Xona’s Pulsar service. 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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