Startup Celebrates Lift Off of First Global Connected-Tech Network
Nano-Satellites from Hiber to power projects in the 90% of the world currently without connectivity, including British Antarctic Survey
Vandenberg, CA. and Amsterdam, NL. | 'NewSpace'* startup Hiber is celebrating the lift-off of its first two “HiberBand” nano-satellites this week. The satellites will launch later this week at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and on the 29th November at 4.28am GMT from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.
Dutch-government backed Hiber will be the first truly global satellite solution, opening the door for the 90% of the world currently unable to use connected tech. The California launch will be streamed live here: https://hiber.tv/
Less than 10% of the globe is covered by a connected technology ready network. Existing networks (like WIFI) only work in urban areas and wealthier countries, whilst traditional satellites that provide wider coverage are expensive and power hungry. For these reasons, many connected tech applications and services are currently unaffordable. For example, it is currently unviable to monitor soil moisture to improve production efficiency and crop quality in the third world countries that rely on farming the most. Hiber is launching into the orbit to change that.
Once fully operational, the nano-satellite will fly over the earth’s poles 16 times a day and the equator twice a day, providing the entire planet with the ability to stream data to and from connected technologies. Using a process that is up to 20 times cheaper than existing global solutions, it works by transferring data from modems and antennas owned by customers directly to the nano-satellites. Data is then sent back to earth via the two existing satellite stations in Spitsbergen in Norway and Delft in the Netherlands.
Hiber is collaborating with Amazon Web Services and was named the AWS Commercial Launch Startup of 2018 on the 25th November. Hiber has also partnered with IBM Watson and Actility for easy integration into existing cloud services, allowing customer to easily build unique applications with global data-streaming capabilities.
The network will be commercially operational from Q1 2019, serving more than 25 pilot customers. Hiber estimates there is a potential £3.5B opportunity for growth as potential IoT projects falter due to a lack of connectivity. One of its pilot customers, the British Antarctic Survey, will be using the network to transmit data from remote measurement stations currently without access to satellite communications. The ability to stream data from the stations will result in more frequent information gathering at a lower cost and the strain on the environment will be reduced as visits are lessened.
Other customers include a Dutch company which will be bringing climate stations to schools in rural communities in Peru, Tanzania and Sri Lanka to educate tomorrow’s smart farmers and Blik Sensing, which helps manage water resources by providing insight into global groundwater levels.
“It is beyond exciting to be the first company bringing full IoT-connectivity to the globe - as well as being the first ever commercial Dutch Satellite operator,” said Laurens Groenendijk, Co-Founder of Hiber (and Co-Founder of JustEat and Treatwell). “The commercial applications for Hiberband in the IoT-industry are limitless. We look forward to powering diverse projects, from tracking cattle to tackling climate change and more effectively growing crops.”
Hiber expects to launch dozens of satellites to meet the enormous demand for connected tech around the world in the next 12 to 18 months.
Hiber (formerly Magnitude Space) is a so-called 'NewSpace' startup. Founded and led by a dream team of satellite experts and tech entrepreneurs, these 'Hibernauts' are literally working on a moonshoot goal: to launch and own a nano-satellite constellation in space. Each nano-satellite will roughly be the size of a large shoebox.
To date, around €10 million in funding has been invested in the company. Thanks to subsidies, innovation loans and informal investors, on 19 November Hiber will take its first step towards realising its dream of becoming the Netherlands' first commercial satellite company. More than 40 employees work on the ground-breaking, patent-pending technology behind Hiber and Hiberband at its offices in Amsterdam and Delft.