Helix Geospace has raised £3 million seed funding to take its GPS antennas for precision global network synchronisation into mass production.
The antennas and company’s RF technology could be crucial in enabling the safe rollout of autonomous vehicles and drones.
The round was led by Bloc Ventures and supported by the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), managed by Midven, part of Future Planet Capital, and private investors.
Helix’s products enable GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) product designers to create the smallest, most accurate positioning, navigation and time synchronisation products.
PNT (Position, Navigation and Timing) services delivered by satellite systems have become the lynchpin of global economies, with critical infrastructure, transportation, cybersecurity and defence being dependent on them.
These dependencies are vulnerable to the operating environments – busy cities and crowded RF spectra – and are under threat from malicious attack. Helix Geospace has invented and developed antenna technology that defends against these vulnerabilities and threats.
Helix’s customers include defence, automotive, aerospace and critical infrastructure sector companies.
James Lewis, CEO of Helix, said: “We started manufacturing DielectriX antennas using state of the art laser/robotics equipment developed in-house, and we are now set to scale up rapidly through partnerships with electronics manufacturing service providers in the UK.
“Future manufacturing growth plans will roll out our ‘factory-in-a-box’ to deliver global capability required to meet the expected demands for autonomous vehicles and systems where absolute resilience and precision of location data is essential for safety.”
David Leftley, CTO and co-founder of Bloc Ventures, commented: “Over 10 billion devices make use of satellite GNSS signals for geolocation, from simple consumer location services to critical aerospace applications.
“But the challenge of reliable, resilient location in demanding environments remains the same. Helix has gone to the root of the problem, the antenna, with a design made possible by the company’s world leading advances in AI, applied to advanced 3D manufacturing of ceramics.
“The result is the highest signal sensitivity from the smallest physical size, and the lowest implementation complexity and cost for a GNSS receiver. We’re really excited to support the team as they begin scaling the company and developing the product alongside their initial customers.”