Startup Raises $55m for Portable Starlink-Dedicated Data Centers

Galleon data centers would be the size of shipping containers and feasible for use on oil rigs and other off-grid sites.

Jason Rainbow, Space News

December 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Startup Raises $55m for Portable Starlink-Dedicated Data Centers
Science Photo Library / Alamy

(Space News) -- One-year-old data networking startup Armada came out of stealth December 11 after raising more than $55 million to develop computing tools promising to empower remote devices connected to Starlink, SpaceX’s low Earth orbit broadband constellation.

Armada says its portable Galleon data centers would give oil rigs, battlefields, and other off-the-grid sites real-time data processing capabilities usually confined to areas with terrestrial connectivity, including generative artificial intelligence platforms such as ChatGPT.

Galleons would be the size of shipping containers around nine meters in length, far smaller than multi-purpose data centers usually housed in large buildings.

The technology would be geared to use SpaceX’s satellites for global connectivity, leveraging an operating system that a customer could use to manage multiple Starlink deployments across their business.

Founders Fund, an early SpaceX investor, led Armada’s funding round alongside venture capital firms Lux Capital, Shield Capital, and 8090 Industries. 

Armada declined to comment on whether it is partnering with SpaceX, which has not commented on the venture.

Other key details, including how far Armada is from launching commercial operations, also remain under wraps.

Related:Could ‘Flying Data Centers’ Solve the Industry’s Sustainability Woes?

An Armada spokesperson said most of the company’s 60 employees are based in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle and not far from where SpaceX builds Starlink satellites.

The venture is led by co-founder Dan Wright, who resigned as CEO of DataRobot last year amid a series of layoffs at the artificial intelligence software provider.

Wright’s departure followed employee uproar over news that he and other DataRobot executives sold stock when the company’s private valuation peaked at $6.3 billion, reported The Information, while other employees did not get the same opportunity.

Early-stage investors Felicis, Contrary, Valor Equity Partners, Marlinspike, 137 Ventures, Koch Real Estate Investments, and 8VC also participated in Armada’s fundraising, according to a news release, along with undisclosed strategic investors.

This article originally appeared in Space News

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