Xona Space Systems has raised a new funding round co-led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust (LSE:SSIT) and MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Toyota Ventures, Daniel Ammann (co-founder of u-blox), and Ryan Johnson (former CEO of BlackBridge, operator of the Rapideye constellation). Follow-on investors also include 1517 Fund and Stellar Solutions.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS and Galileo, have become the backbone of nearly every aspect of the modern connected world. However, threats to these legacy systems along with consumer demands for enhanced performance are increasing rapidly.
Xona’s Pulsar precision LEO PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing) service leverages the recent advances in smallsat technology to provide users with a secure and robust alternative to traditional GNSS. Xona’s patent pending system architecture uses the efficiency of smallsats to provide an affordable global service with more than 10x better accuracy and 100x better interference mitigation than the legacy systems.
The funds raised this round will support the completion of Xona’s first orbital mission, scheduled for mid-2022, to demonstrate the capabilities of their Pulsar precision LEO PNT service, the first, independent, high-performance, satellite navigation and timing system designed to meet the needs of intelligent systems.
Xona successfully tested their navigation system during a ground-based demo earlier this year marking a major milestone for the company, and is now expanding their laboratory facilities to support further development and enable on-site testing and manufacturing. This round will also provide for the continued growth of their highly technical team that is composed of space and GNSS experts from both the private and commercial space industry, including NASA, Lockheed Martin, Maxar, L3 Harris, Blue Origin and SpaceX alumni.
“We view global coverage of a safe, secure, and highly accurate navigation service as critical to the future of autonomy and countless other markets,” said Jeff Crusey, Investment Director of Seraphim Space Investment Trust. “We’re excited to continue supporting Xona because they’re an extremely talented and uniquely positioned team to execute on this plan.”
“The time is ripe for the next generation of satellite navigation systems with lower-cost private launch services,” said Jim Adler, Founding Managing Director of Toyota Ventures. “Xona Space Systems is bringing a better navigation solution with break-through availability, accuracy, and security. Brian and his team are combining innovative technology with a smart business model, and we’re excited to join their journey as part of their investment team.”
“Knowledge of location and time is one of the most fundamental aspects of both human life and machine operation,” said Brian Manning, CEO of Xona. “GNSS creates trillions of dollars of value by accurately answering the questions of ‘where am I?’ and ‘what time is it?’ for users all around the world. Xona was founded around the mission of enabling modern technology to operate safely in any environment, anywhere on Earth. To achieve this for both humans and machines, a foundation of reliable and accurate PNT is an absolute necessity, which is exactly what we are working to provide at Xona.”