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News & Analysis

Adelaide nano-satellite startup Myriota lands $5.5 million government defence contract

- September 29, 2021 2 MIN READ
Myriota co-founder Dr Alex Grant. Photo: Rosina Possingham
Internet of Things (IoT) satellite company Myriota has landed a $5.48 million contract from the Australian government for Defence tracking communications.

Myriota will use its network of nano-satellites to retrieve data from sensors across hundreds of Defence platforms, forming a global, space-enabled communications network.

The network, dubbed the ‘Internet of Military Things’, could deliver increased operational efficiency, safety, and reliability.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the contract, through the Defence Innovation Hub, would contribute to growing a robust, resilient and innovative industrial base for space technologies in Australia.

“Sovereign, space-enabled capabilities are critical to the future of Defence,” she said.

“This innovation could enable the secure transfer of Defence data from almost anywhere on Earth.

The contract follows Myriota’s successful engagement with Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, part of the integrated Defence innovation system.

“This technology has the potential to be used beyond Defence, with potential impact across almost all sectors of the Australian economy,” Minister Price said.

“From mining to remote education, Myriota’s secure satellite communications technologies will provide global connectivity.”

The contract comes just a week after the spacetech startup signed a deal to improve its IoT nano-satellite network with US-listed satellite data company Spire Global.

The partnership will expand Myriota’s existing coverage in North America, Australia and New Zealand to other markets including Europe.

Based at Lot 14 in Adelaide, the startup has launched seven nano-satellites into orbit, with the goal of having 44 above the earth by the end of 2022.

Myriota launched in 2013 and counts former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull among its investors, along with Right Click Capital, super fund Hostplus and the CSIRO’s VC arm, Main Sequence Ventures.

Having already raised more than $50 million, including $28 million in a Series B in 2020, the company announced earlier this month, that insurer IAG had invested an undisclosed figure in the startup via its VC arm, IAG Firemark Ventures, to bring IoT to Australia’s insurance sector.

The company used Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch its first satellite in 2018 and its most recent nano-satellites with Rocket Lab earlier this year.

Myriota has also teamed up with the South Australian government on a $6.5 million project using low-earth orbit satellites to improve data collection and monitoring for state emergency, environment, water monitoring and bushfire mitigation services. The SASAT1 Space Services Mission will support data collection from ground based sensors plus Earth observation imaging.