Mobile satellite antennae co RaySat raises $27m
The company was founded by Gilat Satellite founder Yoel Gat.
Batya Feldman 11 Jul 05 14:44
RaySat, formerly SkyGate, announced today that it had raised $27 million in its second financing round. Apax Partners led the round with an $18.6 million investment, and Benchmark Capital and Israel Seed Partners also participated.
RaySat makes mobile satellite antennae for vehicles and railways. The company produces mobile and flat satellite antennae, most for the private auto industry. RaySat’s flat antennae receive satellite television broadcasts, and provide Internet access for moving cars. The company also supplies products for one-way and two-way Internet access on high-speed railways.
Chairman Yoel Gat, a co-founder and former CEO of Gilat Satellite Networks (Nasdaq: GILTF; TASE: GILTF), founded RaySat in 1997. RaySat president and CEO Samer Salameh is a former chairman and CEO of Prodigy Communications Corp.
RaySat was restructured in early 2004. The company changed its name, and raised $10 million, and started anew, with new investors, including Benchmark and Israel Seed. “The capital raised in the current round will give us the resources necessary to accelerate the company’s expansion in its new industry, which is expected to grow to a turnover of $700 million by 2009, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan,” Salameh says. “RaySat is already positioned as a leading company in this field, and will now be able to increase its momentum. Last quarter, we began selling the SpeedRay 1000 system to our partner, Audiovox Corporation, and increase production in order to meet demand from our other distribution channels.”
Apax Partners partner Pinchas Barel Buchris, who will join RaySat’s board of directors, said, “We believe that this is a unique opportunity to invest in a company with great potential, an unusual management team, and proven success in satellites and Internet. RaySat is aiming its efforts at a relatively new market, which fits in with the new entertainment trends in the auto industry.”
Sources close to RaySat said that the current financing round is designed to be the company’s last before a planned Nasdaq IPO in 2006.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on July 11, 2005