Scottish space tech startup R3-IoT has secured £3.1 million in seed funding as the firm prepares for international expansion.
The investment round, led by US-based VC Space Capital, saw a range of investors back the budding Glasgow-based startup, including the Scottish National Investment Bank, University of Strathclyde, and Ryan Johnson, former CEO of BlackBridge.
Nathan Kundtz, CEO of Rendered.ai, and Loren Padelford, former GM of Revenue at Shopify also pledged their support for the firm.
The investment round will enable R3-IoT to create 20 new roles over the next 18-months across its engineering, technical, sales and marketing functions.
Eilidh Mactaggart, CEO of the Scottish National Investment Bank said: “R3-IoT has emerged from Scotland’s thriving innovation and technology ecosystem and the team has ambitious plans to double its workforce in Scotland as they grow its products and services.
“The Bank is pleased to be investing alongside Space Capital, as well as Strathclyde University, from where one of the founders of R3-IoT graduated, demonstrating the strength of our home-grown talent.”
Founded by Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien, R3-IoT aims to transform satellite communications.
The company’s digital platform – which combines satellite, cellular, IoT and data analytics – provides organisations with end-to-end data services from any location.
R3-IoT says its tech wirelessly connects smart devices – such as sensors – to its intuitive insights platform, ultimately helping organisations to remotely manage risks, improve efficiency and digitise operations.
Cannon, who serves as chief executive at R3, commented: “The funding round is clear recognition of the potential for our platform to broaden the reach of existing satellite technologies by focusing on what has been, up until now, the ‘missing piece’ in digitisation.
“We have ambitious plans and are in a strong position to accelerate our international growth strategy and take advantage of the rapid advances in space communications and IoT technology, from our base in Scotland.”
Co-Founder and CTO, Kevin Quillien, added: “As 90% of the planet lacks traditional communications infrastructure, our mission has been to address this challenge by providing resilient data services coupled with analytics to produce insights that inform, automate and advance operations for customers in key industries worldwide.”
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The investment boost follows an exciting 12 months for the Glasgow-based firm, which has tripled its headcount and been named an Industrial Partner winner in OneWeb’s Innovation Challenge.
R3-IoT also graduated from the Creative Destruction Lab, a global programme where seed stage companies viewed as “massively scalable” are selected to participate.
Chad Anderson, Managing Partner at Space Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm investing in the space economy said: “We immediately saw the opportunity with R3-IoT, which is essentially Nest for organisations with remote industrial facilities.
“This is the right company at the right time that will benefit tremendously from new back-haul capacity coming online through low-Earth orbit satellite communications.
“Scotland is the perfect test-bed for this capability that will enable mission critical connectivity and we are thrilled to join the efforts of Allan, Kevin and the team at R3-IoT, supporting their growth into global markets where there is huge demand for their services.”