Dallas-based Astrapi Corp., which enhances satellite communications through its proprietary spiral-based modulation technology, is ready to move into the next phase of growth thanks to recent grants, equity raises, and partnerships.
The National Science Foundation awarded Astrapi a Phase II Small Business Innovation research grant to the tune of $698,973. Also extended have been Astrapi’s partnerships; the company’s research ventures are with the Southwest Research Institute, and Fred Harris, a noted signal technology expert and professor with San Diego State University. Astrapi also is teaming with the University of the Basque Country’s TSR Research Laboratory in Spain.
The National Science Foundation awarded Astrapi a Phase II Small Business Innovation research grant to the tune of $698,973.
Such partnerships are important to Astrapi because they offer street cred, said David Shaw, senior vice president and chief commercialization officer for Astrapi.
“The reason we like working with them is because they’re objective third parties, and they help validate our research,” Shaw said.
The NSF grant is also a vital financial resource. The grant will be used for further research, Shaw said, while an additional $3 million equity capital raise will begin moving the spiral-based modulation technology into specific hardware purposes. Other contracts over the next few months could add more to the coffers, up to $7 million. The lion’s share of the money will be dedicated to opening a research and development lab in North Texas, and hiring radio frequency engineers, and researchers to staff it.
“We’re moving from spending on research, to wanting to see that research move into the marketplace.”
Over the years, Astrapi proved that SPDM can reduce signal interference, and increase efficiency, something that is good news for satellite owners and telecommunication providers. For the average human, it could also mean a future in which dropped calls from smartphones are greatly minimized, while reception and bandwidth are expanded.
Now, Astrapi is moving from startup to growth mode.
“We’ve closed $900,000 in funding so far; now it’s time to transition all of that into a prototype, then establish a pathway into products, with partners,” Shaw said. “We’re moving from spending on research, to wanting to see that research move into the marketplace.
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