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Spengler and Kundtz
Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler and Nathan Kundtz, Kymeta’s president and CEO, are all smiles as they announce the creation of the Kalo satellite data service earlier this year. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Kymeta has raised its largest investment round to fuel development of the company’s satellite antenna technology.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company recently reeled in a $73.5 million round, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Kymeta spokesperson confirmed the amount listed on the filing but did not provide further details.

Some of the funding came from Intelsat, a publicly traded satellite operator based in Luxembourg.

“We are only a modest portion of the equity raise,” Dianne VanBeber, Intelsat’s vice president of investor relations and communications, told GeekWire in an email. “We are not disclosing the exact amount, but it was not at a level of materiality such that we would have needed to disclose it in our annual filing with the SEC.”

Kymeta, which spun out from Bellevue, Wash.-based Intellectual Ventures in 2012, announced a partnership with Intelsat last month for a new satellite broadband data service called KĀLO. At the time, the companies also announced that Intelsat acquired an equity stake in Kymeta, but did not provide specific numbers.

The announcement noted that Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler joined Kymeta’s board; he’s listed on the new SEC filing as a director.

Founded in 1965, Intelsat helps deliver video and broadband services around the globe and claims to have the world’s “most extensive and secure communications network.”

Intelsat, which laid out plans in February for a mega-merger with OneWeb, has previously invested in Kymeta. It partnered with Kymeta in 2015 to develop and optimize Kymeta’s mTenna satellite antennas for use with Intelsat’s Epic satellites on the widely used Ku-band satellite frequencies.

“The demand for fast, reliable broadband connectivity requires innovation in-orbit and across the entire satellite ecosystem to unlock new growth opportunities,” Spengler said in last month’s statement about the latest investment. “Our partnership with Kymeta provides a real game changer and a high performance, cost-effective alternative for the industry.”

The $73.5 million in investment marks one of the largest rounds for the Pacific Northwest in 2017 and puts total funding to date for Kymeta at nearly $200 million.

The company’s previous investment was a $62 million round raised in January 2016. At the time, CEO Nathan Kundtz told GeekWire that total investment amounted to $124 million, not including business coming from Kymeta’s partners.

Kymeta’s investors include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Lux Capital, Liberty Global and other venture-capital heavyweights. In addition to its 28-inch-wide mTenna panels and the KĀLO service, which will become available later this year, the company is working on next-generation satellite antennas small enough to fit on automobiles.

Kymeta takes advantage of metamaterials, specially constructed electronic matrices that can bend electromagnetic waves to pick up satellite signals coming from any direction. The technology eliminates the need for moving parts, such as the gimbals that are traditionally required to point a dish at a given satellite.

Over the years, Kymeta has partnered with Intelsat as well as other big-name players, such as ToyotaInmarsat and Honeywell AerospacePanasonic, Sharp, Airbus and Aurum Security.

“We are excited to have Intelsat as an investor in Kymeta,” Kundtz said in a statement. “This investment further solidifies the KĀLO bundled services offering by providing a global high-throughput network for our easy to purchase services packages.”

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