Luxembourg IoT satellite operator OQ Technology has closed a €13m Series A funding series.
Led by Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm at Aramco (the Saudi oil and gas company), and Phaistos Investment Fund, managed by 5G Ventures in Greece, the funds will be used to develop OQ’s tech solutions, acquire licences and grow its 5G IoT machine-to-machine applications in remote areas.
“This investment is testament to the strength of our business plans, capabilities, and technology that OQ has been implementing since its inception in 2016, and a clear differentiator from many satellite IoT companies who rely on non-standard technologies,” OQ Technology CEO and founder Omar Qaise said, adding: “Against a challenging economic backdrop, our decision to seek funding was rewarded with a raise that will help us achieve our immediate goals in terms of growth, expansion into Middle East, African, Asia, South America, and Oceania, increasing our spectrum licenses and patents portfolio, and advancing our product development. The company will also accelerate its growth and recruitment efforts in Luxembourg.”
OQ Technology’s 5G IoT satellite constellation offers fast and real-time data processing for IoT and M2M applications in remote and rural areas, be it for tracking or controlling drones, vehicle telematics, AI, mining, defence or automated transport applications.
In 2019, the firm deployed the world’s first universal IoT device, connected via satellite in low Earth orbit.
Qaise said: “All our launched missions and our service demos with Global Fortune 500 companies have been successful, and we have more missions in the pipeline.”
It recently established subsidiaries in Athens, Greece, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The latter will host the first and only satellite 5G network centre of its kind in the MENA region. It will be used by large oil and gas companies in the region, the industrial ecosystem and universities and fits with the country’s sustainable energy transition goals.
Fahad Alidi, Managing Director and CEO at Wa’ed Ventures, said: “Our investment in OQ Technology, a global pioneer in satellite technology, is a true manifestation of our mission to position the Kingdom as the centre of gravity for global tech ventures. We envision OQ to become the nucleus to building a full space tech ecosystem that starts with the Kingdom and spreads to the surrounding region.”
The Greek subsidiary under the name of “OQ Technology Hellas” will nest within the incubator/ accelerator unit “Corallia” of the Athena Research Centre (“Athena”) which also hosts the Hellenic Space Technologies and Applications Cluster (si-Cluster). 5G Ventures has signed MoUs (memorandum of understanding) with both “Athena” and “Corallia”, and OQ Technology has already contacted companies from the si-Cluster to explore synergies and opportunities in Greece.
5G Ventures CEO Antonis Tzortzakakis said: “The investment fits perfectly into 5G Ventures’ strategy for supporting innovative 5G-related technologies capable of creating value and contributing to the evolution of an ecosystem of innovation in Greece.”
Earlier this year, OQ Technology launched its third satellite mission Tiger-3 aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission Transporter-4. The company has more planned satellite launches planned.