ST invests in HiSky satellite IoT specialist

  • December 15, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Singapore-based ST Engineering has led a $30m series A round in Israel-based HiSky, a developer and provider of affordable and agile satellite IoT networks.

The investment lets ST Engineering’s iDirect satellite communications business leverage HiSky’s cost-effective and easy-to-install IoT network. This comprises the Smartellite satellite terminals and cloud-based network management system (NMS), which are complementary and integrated into existing iDirect hub stations and can be quickly deployed in current iDirect satellite networks.

HiSky created the Smartellite satellite terminals that can transmit and receive IoT and M2M data. This eliminates the need to build an IoT infrastructure from scratch, which reduces the cost of market entry. Its electronically steerable phased array antenna operates well in mobile and remote environments, making it attractive to industries such as maritime, logistics and utilities.

Further, its cloud-based NMS provides users with an overview of the status of their terminals in the field to enhance ease of operability of the overall IoT network. These terminals are designed to meet the requirements of LEO satellites due to be launched in the next decade.

“Analysts forecast that the satellite IoT market growth will total $1.1bn in revenue by 2027,” said Low Ka Hoe, president of satellite communications at ST Engineering. “Therefore, enabling our customers’ growth with effective IoT is key to our strategy. This investment allows us to jointly offer HiSky’s innovative and robust IoT satellite terminals with ST Engineering iDirect’s extensive hub and network management, providing our customers validated, future-oriented IoT that leverages their existing infrastructure. The flexible service enablement options will help to reduce our customers’ upfront costs and minimise operational complexities associated with building and launching their own IoT, thereby speeding their time to market.”

The funding round also saw participation from SDF (Strategic Development Fund), the investment arm of Tawazun Holding, and HiSky’s existing shareholders.

“HiSky is both proud and delighted to welcome ST Engineering and SDF as investors,” said Shahar Kravitz, HiSky’s CEO. “ST Engineering iDirect has been a strategic partner of HiSky for two years and we see their investment as a natural step towards continued, rapid growth in our satellite IoT across all verticals and industries. We have no doubt that HiSky’s satellite IoT technology, combined with ST Engineering iDirect’s capabilities, will bring great value to customers in reducing their costs and shortening their time to market. We thank our new investment partners for this vote of confidence in our technology, vision and business plans.”

With offices in Singapore, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, ST Engineering’s corporate venture capital unit scouts for and invests in promising technology start-ups in high growth areas such as robotics, autonomous technology, data analytics, cyber security, IoT, cloud, connectivity and other emerging technologies.

ST Engineering is a technology, defence and engineering group with offices across Asia, Europe, Middle East and USA, serving customers in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Singapore, it reported revenues of $7.2bn in 2020.

Its iDirect subsidiary specialises in satellite communications and was formed through the merger with Newtec.