Kepler Closes Another Fundraising Round Adding $92M in its Series C

Artist illustration of the Kepler Communications Alderaan satellite, a GEN1 version. Credit: Kepler Communications.

Kepler Communications today announced it had closed its Series C round and raising USD$92 million. This follows an oversubscribed Series B in June of 2021 where they raised USD$60 million.

To date Kepler says it has raised over $200 million. The Series C round was led by IA Ventures. Others who have supported Kepler include Costanoa Ventures, Canaan Partners, Tribe Capital, BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, and other unnamed investors.

With the new funding the comany said it “will launch an optical data relay infrastructure in 2024, complementing its existing RF network.” We first wrote about this new optical data constellation in 2020.

“Kepler’s optical communications infrastructure will use two near-orthogonal planes of relay satellites in sun-synchronous orbits, with satellites in each plane continuously connected using SDA-compatible optical inter-satellite links. Optical services will be operational and available to customers by Q1 2025.”

Brad Gillespie, general partner at IA Ventures said, “Exponentially decreasing launch costs make space more accessible than ever, but connectivity beyond Earth is still costly, challenging, and inconsistent. The Kepler Network solves this by providing a fast, open, developer-friendly network enabling ‘it-just-works’ connectivity between any asset in space and back to Earth—and someday to Mars and beyond! With proven customer demand for their high-speed optical network, we are excited to lead this funding round to enable Kepler to continue its rapid growth and achieve profitability.”

The Network. Credit: Kepler Communications.

The new optical satellites are named Pathfinder and the company plans to launch two this fall where it will begin “testing and validating optical communication technology developed for the Kepler constellation. The company’s newest satellites build on the flight heritage of its existing constellation, totaling 21 satellites after the launch of two additional spacecraft in mid-April 2023.”

Kepler also said that their network “will streamline on-orbit communications with a network infrastructure designed to act as Internet exchange points (IXP) for space-to-space data relay. The Internet-ready constellation will deliver data to and from spacecraft in real time, enabling high-speed data relay through SDA-standard optical terminals.”

Kepler has two satellites, KEP-20 and KEP-21, scheduled for launch on the SpaceX Transporter-7 rideshare mission early Friday morning.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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