Glasgow space tech startup bags £3.1M funding to help companies with end-to-end data services


Glasgow-headquartered satellite communications startup R3-IoT is developing a technology to boost connectivity in remote areas. The Scottish company recently secured a £3.1 million seed investment round led by US-based VC Space Capital, joined by Scottish National Investment Bank.

Other investors include the University of Strathclyde, alongside North American-based Ryan Johnson, former CEO of BlackBridge, Nathan Kundtz, CEO of Rendered.ai, and Loren Padelford, former GM of Revenue at Shopify, also participated. 

The company intends to use the funding to accelerate its international growth strategy, establish its presence in North America, and planning to hire people in 20 new roles over the next eighteen months in its engineering, technical, sales, and marketing functions

Full-stack digital platform 

Founded by Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien in 2018, R3-IoT addresses the challenges faced by organisations during digitising business operations, products, and services due to a lack of, or unreliable communications infrastructure.  

As a result, the company provides a full-stack digital platform – combining satellite, cellular, IoT, and data analytics – which provides organisations with end-to-end data services from any location, regardless of existing infrastructure. 

How does that work?

R3-IoT technology wirelessly connects smart devices such as sensors – on, or offshore, connects, automatically transmitting data via the cloud to an intuitive insights platform – helping organisations to remotely manage risks, improve efficiencies and digitise operations across multiple sites and locations. 

The company works with various companies across fields and sectors which require resilient connectivity 24/7 like aquaculture, utilities, infrastructure, digital health, emergency services, and energy.

Chad Anderson, Managing Partner at Space Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm investing in the space economy said: “We immediately saw the opportunity with R3-IoT, which is essentially Nest for organisations with remote industrial facilities. This is the right company at the right time that will benefit tremendously from new backhaul capacity coming online through low-Earth orbit satellite communications.  

 “Scotland is the perfect testbed for this capability that will enable mission-critical connectivity and we are thrilled to join the efforts of Allan, Kevin, and the team at R3-IoT, supporting their growth into global markets where there is a huge demand for their services.” 

Jan Robertson, Interim Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “R3-IoT is an exciting young company with big global ambitions. Scottish Enterprise is proud to have helped it reach this milestone moment by providing it with an integrated package of support, including participation in our High Growth Ventures programme and equity and grant funding through the Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund, and look forward to working with the company as it goes from strength-to-strength.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde added: “It is wonderful to see an early-stage company such as R3-IoT, which has such firm Strathclyde roots, successfully concluding this seven-figure funding round with external investors. We look forward to following and supporting the company’s future successes as it expands and grows.”