Wasserbillig, Luxembourg-based OQ Technology, a global 5G IoT satellite operator, announced on Thursday that it has secured €13M in a Series A round of funding led by Wa’ed Ventures and Phaistos Investment Fund.
The company says it will use the funds to develop its technology solution, acquire more spectrum licenses, and grow its 5G IoT satellite constellation.
OQ Technology says the constellation provides fast and real-time data processing for IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications such as wellhead monitoring, SCADA system, asset tracking, drone control, and more in remote and rural areas.
Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology, says, “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. 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 the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, and Oceania, increasing our spectrum licences and patents portfolio, and advancing our product development. The company will also accelerate its growth and recruitment efforts in Luxembourg.”
The announcement comes four months after the company launched its third satellite mission, Tiger-3, aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission, Transporter-4.
OQ Technology: What you need to know
Founded by Omar Qaise, OQ Technology is building a global satellite constellation dedicated to 5G “Internet-of-Things” communication that can provide connectivity anywhere, especially in remote and rural areas.
Qaise says, “We have pioneered satellite-based 5G communications with the introduction of the world’s first universal IoT device providing connectivity using a satellite in low Earth orbit (LEO) in 2019 and other patented technologies since. All our launched missions and service demos with Global Fortune 500 companies have been successful, and we have more missions in the pipeline.”
The company says it has demonstrated Narrowband IoT connectivity over Low Earth Orbit satellites and is deploying a global constellation to provide 3GPP compatible satellite IoT telecommunication services for mobile operators and customers.
OQ Technology says its patented technology can be embedded in existing cellular chips, enabling billions globally to have ubiquitous IoT connectivity.
The company has also established two subsidiaries with a global remit, – one in Athens, Greece, and another in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi subsidiary will host its first and only satellite 5G network centre in the Kingdom and the MENA region. It will be used to engage with large oil and gas companies in the region and with the local industrial ecosystem and universities.
The Greek subsidiary, under the name “OQ Technology Hellas”, will nest within the incubator/ accelerator unit “Corallia” of the Athena Research Centre, which also hosts the Hellenic Space Technologies and Applications Cluster (si-Cluster).
5G Ventures has signed MoUs with both “Athena” and “Corallia,” and OQ Technology has already contacted companies from the si-Cluster to explore synergies and opportunities in Greece, says the company.
Based out of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Wa’ed Ventures is the entrepreneurial venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco.
The fund invests in early-stage startups with high growth potential that promote economic development in Saudi Arabia and enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom.
“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,” says Fahad Alidi, Managing Director and CEO at Wa’ed Ventures. “We envision OQ to become the nucleus to building a full space tech ecosystem that starts with the Kingdom and outspread to the surrounding region.”
5G Ventures CEO, Antonis Tzortzakakis, says, “We believe there is great potential for 5G IoT technology, and with Saudi Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures, we are very excited to invest in OQ Technology. 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 innovation ecosystem in Greece.”