Space Tech Startup Xona Raises $19M Series A for its Satellite Navigation Service

Xona, a startup developing a network of small satellites to provide high-precision navigation services, has announced an oversubscribed $19 million Series A funding round led by Future Ventures and Seraphim Space. New investors NGP Capital, Industrious Ventures, Murata Electronics, Space Capital, and Aloniq also joined the round.

This funding will be used to accelerate the deployment of Xona’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network as they drive towards commercialization. With this round Xona will begin beta operations of their PULSAR satellite service which is aimed at providing the robust precision guidance needed for intelligent and autonomous technologies to scale beyond highly structured environments.

“A century ago, people looked to the North Star for trusted guidance when other methods were unavailable,” said Brian Manning, CEO and Co-Founder of Xona. “AI and automation are the future – our PULSAR service aims to be for these industries what the North Star was for humanity in previous centuries.”

Rob Desborough, General Partner at Seraphim Space, explains: “After half a century of use, our dependence on GPS is absolute. Outages could cause incalculable damage to the global economy, while enhancement opens up whole new industries. Waiting for GPS to fail, or for hostile powers to spoof it, is not an option for our security or commercial industries. Xona and the pioneering team are executing on building the GPS the modern era needs and we’re delighted to continue to support their transformative vision.”

Compared to GPS, PULSAR brings orders of magnitude improvements in accuracy, availability, and security which are crucial for a future filled with autonomous systems and for the protection of vital national infrastructure. Major industries such as agriculture, automotive, and defence are eager to transition to automation but are continuously plagued by the challenges of unstructured environments and inadequate GPS performance. Xona’s PULSAR allows these devices to expand beyond their current limits by enabling them to confidently determine their location to within a few centimetres even if they have never operated at that location before.

“We have been searching for over a decade for the next great space company that will have a transformational impact on the world,” said Steve Jurvetson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Future Ventures. “Xona is building a powerful, precise and protected platform for global geolocation services. Much of the economy, from autonomous vehicles to maps and asset tracking rely on GNSS from space. With current offerings, the signals are weak and thus, easily lost in buildings, urban areas, and areas with signal interference. Much like Starlink was for communications links, Xona’s LEO constellation of satellites can provide a more robust and powerful solution than current systems operating in higher orbits, while preserving compatibility with end user equipment. I am thrilled to be joining the visionary and talented team of Xona.”

The Xona team, made up of top navigation and space experts from SpaceX, Ford, NASA, and Blue Origin, has made remarkable progress recently in the key areas of satellite development, user equipment integration, and commercialization, with development kits now available for sale. Xona’s partners and customers span both US government agencies as well as industry giants including names such as the US Space Force and Spirent.

“Xona is a pioneer not only in precision LEO navigation but also the commercialization of satellite navigation itself,” added Brian. “This brings with it many new challenges across all aspects of the company. This round is a testament to our team’s ability to overcome these challenges, and has armed us with the resources we need to bring our vision to life.”