The technology is proven, with hundreds of aircraft connected across Europe. But building out a new in-flight connectivity platform and deploying it to an airline remains an expensive proposition. Global air-to-ground technology provider SkyFive plans to address that major challenge with a new round of funding.
A trio of institutional investors played key roles in the latest round, each bringing a strategic benefit to the company, in addition to their checkbooks.
This substantial commitment of both our new and existing investors creates a robust foundation for our global growth strategy. Our investors’ experience, technologies, and deep market understanding positions SkyFive uniquely in the aviation market. We are determined to build a truly global A2G service provider.– Jürgen Meffert, Chairman SkyFive
Peiker Holding’s financial stake follows on the announcement two months ago of a development partnership between SkyFive and FTI Engineering Network, a Peiker company. The two companies plan to deliver a software-defined network service that integrates the air-to-ground network with satellite-based inflight connectivity systems via a common on-board router. Such a solution allows for the SkyFive platform to choose the lowest cost, most efficient link for moving data on and off the aircraft.
Speaking on the partnership, company CEO Andreas Peiker notes, “The Peiker success story started with bringing cellular technology to the automotive industry and enabling the connected car. Commercial aviation is at the cusp of a similar connectivity revolution, and we are thrilled to spearhead it once more.”
Saudi infrastructure development giant ANSAB is also adding fuds to the SkyFive operation. The company hopes to drive deployment and adoption of the SkyFive solution across the Middle East, starting in Saudi Arabia.
SkyFive has previously noted Saudi Arabia as a key target market and established a test network in the country. If it can also secure spectrum rights in neighboring countries a regional deployment could prove compelling to some airlines.
Finally, ATKA Capital created a dedicated fund – the ATKA S5 Fund – to drive its investment in SkyFive. Led by former Flybondi CEO Julian Cook, AKTA is keen on the potential of air-to-ground inflight WiFi service and will help finance installations for airlines.
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More SkyFive news:
- Airbus advances 5G ATG connections in China
- SkyFive, Pivotel plane air-to-ground connectivity trial in Australia
- Vietnam Airlines plans short-haul WiFi service
- Safran boosts SkyFive, leads Series A funding
- Next Gen ATG 5G moves forward in China
- Air-to-ground networking coming in New Zealand
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