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Transcelestial raises S$2.5m in seed funding to deliver Internet with satellites, lasers

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Transcelestial Technologies, a Singapore-based space technology startup, said on Friday that it raised S$2.5 million in December from a seed funding round led by Wavemaker Partners and Enterprise SG's SEEDS Capital to develop a technology "in stealth".

TRANSCELESTIAL Technologies, a Singapore-based space technology startup, said on Friday that it raised S$2.5 million in December from a seed funding round led by Wavemaker Partners and Enterprise SG's SEEDS Capital to develop a technology "in stealth".

Joining in the round were Airtree Ventures, 500 Startups and angel investors including Y-Combinator chief executive Michael Seibel and WI Harper Group venture partner Jonathan Schiff.

Transcelestial said that it is pioneering a space laser network that could replace wireless networks to deliver high-speed Internet anywhere on earth, including to the four billion people globally who do not have Internet access.

Founded in 2016, the company aims to develop a constellation of nano satellites that use lasers to transfer and relay data for ground, satellite and deep space applications. This could provide a fast, long-distance, point-to-point wireless communication network of up to 100 gigabits per second, said the startup.

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One of the first public demonstrations of Transcelestial’s technology was a joint project with SK Telecom in South Korea and the Telecom Infra Project’s Ecosystem Acceleration Center Initiative. Transcelestial’s wireless fibre optics technology was used to upgrade the backbone Internet connectivity of a major public library near Seoul, reportedly improving bandwidth by 20 times its existing speed.

The startup, founded by Rohit Jha and Mohammad Danesh, was born out of Entrepreneur First, the London and Singapore-headquartered venture builder.

Mr Jha, who is chief executive officer, said: "We saw an exciting future for humanity in the next 100 years, but no action plan to build a scalable, underlying infrastructure needed, either on the planet or in deep space, to support that.

"The average cost of transcontinental high bandwidth undersea cables ranges from over hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in capital expenditure, and tens of million dollars in annual maintenance. Existing wireless technologies have reached high levels of spectrum congestion leading to a limit on how much connectivity they can support. Transcelestial’s radical new approach is needed to overcome these issues and ensure global connectivity in the next couple of decades."

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