Akash Systems To Scale Its Radio Modules And Power Amplifier Business With New Funding Round

By Dan Anderson ● July 15, 2019
  • San Francisco-based Akash Systems announced it raised $14.5 million in Series A funding

San Francisco-based Akash Systems — a company that is aiming to resolve the explosive growth of data collected from space by enabling faster, cheaper, and ubiquitous satellite communications — announced it raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. This round includes $10 million in new equity funds and an additional $4.5 million converted from prior convertible notes.

The investors in this round include Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, ACME Capital, Sriram Krishnan, Correlation Ventures and several others. Akash is planning to deploy the new capital toward scaling its transmit/receive radio modules and power amplifier business thus moving it closer to profitability.

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“The successful close of this funding round marks an important next step in fulfilling Akash’s mission statement,” said co-founder, CEO, and GaN-on-Diamond Inventor Felix Ejeckam. “Our aim is to be the RF communications link for every satellite in space.”

GaN-on-Diamond — the hottest part of a transistor is brought to within tens of nanometers of synthetic diamond (most thermally conductive material ever made by humans) — offers dramatic reduction in the waste heat generated from the power amplifier and the whole entire satellite system as a result. In the communications “base stations” of space, the RF power amplifier is typically responsible for the bulk of the power consumed and the heat generated.

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And the cooler state of operation gives RF and satellite system designers a previously unattainable thermal envelope for dramatically improving a satellite’s communication bandwidth and energy efficiency while simultaneously shrinking the system’s size, weight, and operating costs.

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“Akash Systems is playing a critical role in meeting the growing and vital need for improved satellite communications infrastructure,” added Delian Asparouhov of Founders Fund. “We’re proud to be part of Akash’s journey as a critical enabler and accelerant in global communications.”

Akash is designing its satellite transmit/receive radio modules to easily integrate with the existing ground station and satellite infrastructure for satellite makers in all markets. And the company’s radios — which are expected to be available for purchase in late 2019 — promise impressive performance not yet seen on the market.

“It’s rare to see a young company with such transformative technology already approaching commercialization,” explained Alex Fayette of ACME Capital. “Akash’s business lies squarely at the intersection of major trends like global connectivity, high-performance telecommunications and space-based infrastructure. Their foundational technology will underpin other solutions across these industries. We are thrilled to partner with the team at this early stage as they execute against their vision.”

Founded in 2016 by Ejeckam and Ty Mitchell, Akash is currently manufacturing GaN-on-Diamond-based power amplifiers and radio modules for customers who make satellites requiring high frequency and high power efficiency. And its radio products are on track to hit the market in Q4 2019.

“What Akash has been able to achieve in its first few years is remarkable, as it has already attracted major customers across the ecosystem. The company is quickly shaping trends in global telecommunications. It’s one of the most exciting companies we’ve seen in a while,” noted angel investor Sriram Krishnan.