Akash Systems, a startup focused on resolving the explosive growth of data collected from space by enabling faster, cheaper and ubiquitous satellite communications, has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. This new funding round consists of $10 million in new equity funds, and $4.5 million converted from prior convertible notes.
Investors in this round include Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, ACME Capital, Sriram Krishnan, Correlation Ventures and others. Akash will deploy the new capital toward scaling its transmit/receive radio modules and power amplifier business, moving it closer to profitability.
Akash has designed its satellite transmit/receive radio modules to easily integrate with existing ground station and satellite infrastructure for satellite makers in all markets. They use GaN-on-Diamond technology to provide significant performance benefits. The company’s radios, which are expected to be available for purchase in late 2019, promise impressive performance not yet seen on the market.
Akash Systems is playing a critical role in meeting the growing and vital need for improved satellite communications infrastructure. Their business lies squarely at the intersection of major trends like global connectivity, high-performance telecommunications and space-based infrastructure. Their foundational technology will underpin other solutions across these industries.
In GaN-on-Diamond, the hottest part of a transistor is brought to within tens of nanometers of synthetic diamond – the most thermally conductive material ever made by humans. The result is a dramatic reduction in the waste heat generated from the power amplifier, and therefore the entire satellite system; in the communications ‘base stations’ of space, the RF power amplifier is typically responsible for the bulk of the power consumed and the heat generated. The cooler state of operation gives RF and satellite system designers a previously unattainable thermal envelope to dramatically improve a satellite’s communication bandwidth and energy efficiency while simultaneously shrinking the system’s size, weight and operating costs.
Akash is currently manufacturing GaN-on-Diamond-based power amplifiers and radio modules for customers who make satellites requiring high frequency and high power efficiency. Its radio products are on track to hit the market in Q4 2019.