RBC Signals raises $1.2M to get ready for the coming boom in satellite data traffic

Alan Boyle
·2 min read
Inuvik ground station
RBC Signals acquires communication service capacity from the operators of ground stations around the world, including C-CORE’s facility in Inuvik in the Canadian Arctic. (Photo via RBC Signals)

Redmond, Wash.-based RBC Signals says it’s closed on a $1.2 million funding round that’s meant to put the venture in position to meet the growing demand for satellite ground station services.

“One of the primary things we’re doing is positioning ourselves for the future,” RBC Signals’ founder and CEO, Christopher Richins, told GeekWire today. “We already see an uptick in demand.”

Richins said the newly reported equity round, which he characterized as a “late seed round,” brings the six-year-old startup’s total investment to $3.2 million. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission says 15 investors took part in the round.

Richins declined to identify individual investors, but he said the round included new capital as well as debt conversions that are primarily aimed at structuring foreign investment to satisfy anticipated U.S. government requirements.

RBC Signals has agreements to use more than 80 antennas at more than 50 locations in more than 20 countries to communicate with orbiting satellites. Most of those agreements take advantage of spare bandwidth for data delivery.

The venture’s clients include Swarm Technologies, Momentus Space and SatRevolution. RBC Signals is also collaborating with Amazon Web Services on AWS Ground Station services. And Richins said that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “We’re looking forward to a very busy 2021,” he said.

Richins said RBC’s workforce has grown to about a dozen employees, at offices in Europe and the Middle East as well as at the Redmond HQ.

Redmond has become something of a satellite center, primarily due to work being done there for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband data network, Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite development effort and Kymeta’s hybrid satellite-cellular mobile connectivity service.

“We’re thrilled to be at the epicenter of what’s going on,” Richins said.

More from GeekWire: