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August 21, 2012

Bill Gates backing Redmond antenna startup

August 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM Posted by Brier Dudley Funding shouldn’t be a challenge for Kymeta, a new Redmond startup developing […]

August 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM Posted by Brier Dudley

Funding shouldn’t be a challenge for Kymeta, a new Redmond startup developing exotic antennas for satellite broadband receivers.

Kymeta surfaced today with an initial $12 million from investor Bill Gates, Lux Capital and media and communications giant Liberty Global.

The company has quietly built up a team of 15 and plans to add 75 more over the next year.

Kymeta is the second company to be spun out of Intellectual Ventures, the Bellevue patent and research venture led by former Microsoft research boss Nathan Myhrvold. Intellectual Ventures has raised at least $5 billion from Gates and other investors.

Most of Intellectual Ventures business is hoarding and licensing patents to companies, collecting what are basically insurance payments to protect the companies from patent lawsuits.

Intellectual Ventures also employs about 100 researchers who develop original ideas. This led to the spinoff of a nuclear reactor company called TerraPower in 2008 — and to Kymeta.

Kymeta is developing antennas made with artificial “metamaterials” that can manipulate electromagnetic radiation, the company said in its release. This enables its “mTenna” system to “electronically point and steer a radio signal toward a satellite.”

Kymeta plans to use the technology in laptop-sized “hotspot” antenna systems, such as the prototype pictured here. They are intended to be used for satellite broadband service, providing fast connections of 1 to 5 Megabits per second from boats, cars and planes. Customers could include governments and individuals who can afford satellite broadband.

The company intends to begin selling its antennas in 2015. It has yet to line up any customers or partners providing satellite broadband services.

Kymeta’s chief executive is Vern Fotheringham, a veteran of numerous advanced wireless ventures, including Terabeam.

“The disruptive form factor, performance and cost advantages of Kymeta’s mTenna products, based on advanced metamaterials technologies, will enable users to access a wide variety of mobile, portable and fixed satellite services beyond the capabilities of existing antenna solutions,” Fotheringham said in the release.

Read more at The Seattle Times

About Kymeta

The world’s demand for ubiquitous mobile connectivity is irrefutable. A global, mobile network is the answer to connecting people and places that have never been connected before.

Kymeta is making seamless, always-connected mobile communications possible with a unique hybrid approach that enables satellite and cellular networks to deliver a single, global, mobile network. End-to-end mobile communications are delivered with Kymeta K?LO™ connectivity services, and the world’s first and only electronically-steered, flat-panel satellite terminal that goes places traditional satellite dishes cannot. Backed by U.S. and international patents and licenses, the Kymeta KyWay™ terminal makes high-throughput, mobile communications possible in cars, trains, buses, trucks, boats, and much more.

If it moves, Kymeta keeps it connected.

For more information, visit kymetacorp.com and KALO.net.

Business Inquiries for Kymeta
Sam Christensen Marketing Kymeta
+1 425.658.8703
Media Inquiries for Kymeta
Melanie McBride Vice President, Content and PR The Summit Group
+1 801.990.8464