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March 21, 2013

Kymeta: Is this Bill Gates’ next billion-dollar company?

BY TODD BISHOP on March 21, 2013 at 10:13 am Wireless technology company Kymeta Corp. has been in business for a grand total of seven […]

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Wireless technology company Kymeta Corp. has been in business for a grand total of seven months, but already it has landed a $6.2 million engineering contract with the Inmarsat satellite company to accelerate its product development. Kymeta has grown to more than 40 employees and contractors, including some of the leading experts in the field, and its Redmond headquarters is stocked with high-tech testing and development equipment.

PST Device for continuous broadband connection
Kymeta’s Portable Satellite Terminal, about the size of a laptop.

The progress was enough to surprise Kymeta’s lead investor and board member — Bill Gates — during a recent visit to the company.

So what’s the big deal? Kymeta’s products in development include a portable satellite broadband receiver, about the size of a laptop, that promises to make it easier, less expensive and more energy-efficient to get a strong wireless signal anywhere in the world.

The company’s secret sauce is a metamaterials technology that can efficiently steer a beam to connect to a satellite without any moving parts. It can maintain a continuous broadband connection even on moving vehicles and aircraft.

Is this a billion-dollar public company in the making?

“Yes,” says Vern Fotheringham, the wireless industry veteran who is Kymeta’s CEO and chairman. “It’s a very big global market. We have extraordinary sponsorship. … We definitely believe we’re on a trajectory towards becoming a public company.”

Kymeta did have a running start. It was spun out of Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold’s patent holding company, based on technology developed in the Intellectual Ventures labs. Kymeta’s founder and chief technology officer is Nathan Kundtz, who led the research effort in this area at Intellectual Ventures.

Gates’ involvement in Kymeta is an outgrowth of his longstanding association with Myhrvold and Intellectual Ventures. In addition to Gates, investors in Kymeta include Lux Capital and Liberty Global, the investment fund led by cable veteran John Malone. Investors put $12 million into Kymeta to launch the company last August.

Read more at GeekWire

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