Hiber, a global internet of things (IoT) connectivity firm, has won about €26 million in funding from European Union agencies and private entities. The Amsterdam-based company seeks to expand its IoT satellite network to increase its connectivity through its Hiberband brand, the first low power global area network (LPGAN) globally. Hiberband uses tiny Nanosatellites at a low orbit of 600km above Earth that are cheap and will provide worldwide coverage. It uses one frequency and one modem, thus eliminating the need for roaming and switching networks like in terrestrial networks.
The money was fundraised by European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), a European Union branch dealing with innovative initiatives. EIC Fund has approximately €278 million up for grabs by innovative startups. Private entities also joined hands with EIC Fund to back up Hiber, alongside the Dutch government. The private shareholders include Finch Capital, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and Hartenlust Group.
The funding comes at a time when the leadership of the company has been shaken up a little, with co-founder Laurens Groenendijk stepping down as the managing director. Lauren said he is stepping down to concentrate on other investment initiatives. He co-founded the startup with Coen Janssen, who is the chief strategy officer.
Lauren also co-founded Treatwell, where he is the chief executive officer. He co-founded Hiber with Coen, Ernst Peter Hovinga, Erik Wienk and Maarten Engelen. “The €26 million funding is fantastic validation for Hiber’s success and a major boost for the European ‘New Space’ sector. It is a key step in realizing our aim of making the Internet of Things really simple and available for everyone in remote and developing regions of the world,” said Janssen.
Steven Kroonsbereg joins Hiber as the new Chief financial officer alongside Roel Jansen, who picks the wheel as the chief commercial officer. The firm’s constellation of satellites monitors tracks and monitors devices that are in hard-to-reach places and could be used to monitor leakages in oil wells and pests and diseases in food production.
EIC Fund aims to support such startups as Hiber, spearheading a name for Europe in the satellite network sector. “I am glad to announce the EIC Fund support to this highly innovative company aiming at creating a European champion in the satellite Internet of Things sector. This equity financing will help Hiber to enable affordable and ubiquitous connectivity for the IoT solutions,” said Nicklas Bergman, EIC Fund Committee member.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has welcomed the Union’s support to space technology startups and terms Hiber as a successful firm. “This major success has been supported at the European level by a collaboration of major EU bodies fostering the Space Value Chain,” commented Elia Montanari, head of management and Control at ESA.