Glasgow satellite comms firm gears up for global expansion and new jobs after multi-million-pound investment

A Glasgow-based satellite communications specialist is focusing on global expansion and new jobs after closing a multi-million-pound investment round.

R3-IoT has secured £3.1 million in funding led by US-based VC Space Capital, joined by the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Other investors include the University of Strathclyde, alongside North American-based Ryan Johnson, who is the former chief executive of BlackBridge; Nathan Kundtz, chief executive of Rendered.ai; and Loren Padelford, former general manager of revenue at Shopify.

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Scottish Enterprise also becomes a shareholder and continues to support the company.

R3-IoT co-founders Kevin Quillien and Allan Cannon. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Led by space technology experts Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien, the firm addresses challenges organisations face in digitising business operations, products and services due to a lack of, or unreliable, communications infrastructure.

The company’s digital platform combines satellite, cellular communications, the “internet of things” (IoT) and data analytics.

Chief executive Cannon said: “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

“The investment will drive continued innovation and commercialisation of our technology ahead of market launch and help establish North American operations, where we are already seeing strong demand.”

The company’s expansion plans will also see 20 additional roles created over the next 18 months in its engineering, technical, sales and marketing functions.

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 backhaul capacity coming online through low-Earth orbit satellite communications.

“Scotland is the perfect testbed 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.”

Eilidh Mactaggart, chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “This high growth business is at the forefront of improving connectivity via satellite and internet of things technologies, with the power to support multiple industries with data and analysis via satellite connectivity.”

“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.”

Co-founder Quillien, who is the firm’s chief technology officer, added: “As 90 per cent 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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