March 20, 2022
AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CesiumAstro Inc. (“Cesium” or “Company”), a developer of advanced aerospace communication systems, today 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 (NYSE: LHX). Returning investors include Kleiner Perkins, Lavrock Ventures, Franklin Templeton Blackhorse Fund, and HEICO (NYSE: HEI).
“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 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,” remarks 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 (AESAs): 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,” adds 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,” adds 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,” comments 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,” says 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.
About Airbus Ventures
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, with offices in Toulouse and Tokyo, Airbus Ventures is a fast-moving, early-stage venture capital company that independently funds and supports startups set to shift both the aerospace industry and our planetary system to a sustainable future. Airbus Ventures has helped aspiring innovators reach new dimensions of achievement since 2015.
About Forever Ventures
Forever Ventures provides permanent capital to the exceptional founders shaping our future.
About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has more than $17 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries. L3Harris.com.