French satellite start-up Kinéis obtains regulatory green light for its expansion in the United States
TAMPA, Florida – French startup Kinéis obtained regulatory approval on November 18 to connect Internet of Things devices in the United States to its future constellation of nanosatellites.
The authorization of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States to provide services in the country marks a key milestone for Kinéis, which raised around $ 110 million last year to deploy 25 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) in 2023.
The satellites, of which Rocket Lab was contracted to launch, will replace a system of seven payloads hosted on board American and European meteorological satellites and an experimental satellite which has generated revenues for Kinéis.
The old system, called Argos and established as a French-American company involving NASA, NOAA and the French space agency CNES, collects humidity, sea level and other data points one way unique from maritime beacons. However, Kinéis satellites aim to provide more dynamic services thanks to a two-way connectivity system.
Kinéis was split in 2018 from the French maritime and environmental surveillance company CLS (Collecte Localization Satellites), which previously managed the Argos network, to provide it with a constellation of nanosatellites in LEO.
Following the FCC’s approval, Kinéis announced its intention to open a subsidiary in Washington early next year to give it better access to global connectivity customers in the areas of the environment, energy, transport, agriculture and other markets.
Kinéis said it generated 7 million euros ($ 8 million) in revenue in 2020, a 40% increase over 2019.
CLS and CNES invested in the startup’s 2020 funding round, which also included the French import-export bank Bpifrance and industrial partners Thales Group, cubesat builder Hemeria and software engineering company Celad.
The European Investment Bank and the French National Institute of Marine Sciences (Ifremer) were also among the participants.