Research Triangle, North Carolina | February 5, 2019– The aviation industry’s transformative inflight internet provider, SmartSky Networks, announces the closing of a total of $104M in funding, including $75 million in debt commitments from funds managed by the Global Credit team at BlackRock and equity investments by private equity firms Tiger Infrastructure, WP Global, Platform Partners, and Meritage Investors. The funds will be used in the on-going rollout of SmartSky’s nationwide air-to-ground network. With this new round of financing, SmartSky has raised almost $350M in funding to date. The company is advised by Allen & Company LLC.

“This investment represents an expression of confidence in SmartSky by these sophisticated investors, including some of the most highly regarded institutions in the world,” said SmartSky CEO Haynes Griffin, “and comes only a few days after the announcement of our first commercial aviation customer. Both of these milestones were preceded by firsthand flight trials which demonstrated conclusively to these partners the ability of SmartSky’s blazing-fast, affordable two-way internet connectivity to fundamentally transform aviation.”

Last week, CEO Alex Wilcox of JetSuiteX, a rapidly growing regional air carrier, stated, “After a rigorous selection process including my personal inflight evaluation, we chose SmartSky’s state-of-the-art, high-speed technology because it delivers the most compelling user experience.”  

SmartSky’s first-of-its-kind, real-time system provides over ten times the speed of legacy airborne connections and is the most secure and affordable inflight internet solution available. The ground-based components of the system are being deployed throughout the contiguous United States using a mix of 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies, similar to some of the recent improvements in terrestrial cellular networks. The inflight connectivity network will be commercially available later this year.

Tel Aviv, Israel | June 6, 2018–Hailo, a company developing a proprietary chip for deep learning on edge devices, today announced the completion of a $12.5 million Series A round. The company’s investors include Ourcrowd.com, Maniv Mobility, the Drive accelerator fund: Next Gear; as well as angel investors, Hailo Chairman Zohar Zisapel and Delek Motors CEO Gil Agmon. The company will use the funding to further develop its deep learning processor, which will deliver datacenter processing capacity to edge devices. This latest funding round brings the total raised to date by the Tel Aviv-based company to $16 million.

Hailo’s breakthrough deep learning processor, whose initial samples are expected to enter the market in H1 2019, will be able to run embedded AI applications on edge devices that are installed in autonomous vehicles, drones, and smart home appliances such as personal assistants, smart cameras and smart TVs, alongside IoT, AR and VR platforms, wearables and security products. The Hailo processor radically reduces size, power and cost, making it suitable for local processing of high-resolution sensory data in real time.

The automotive industry, which is one of Hailo’s key target markets, is undergoing a major disruption, rapidly adopting deep learning methods to enable advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving applications that require continuous sensing of surroundings. According to IC Insights, Integrated Circuits used in automobiles and other vehicles are expected to generate global sales of $42.9 billion in 2021, compared to $22.9 billion in 2016. Existing general-purpose processor infrastructure cannot efficiently run compute-intensive deep learning algorithms necessary for these applications.

“The 70-year old architecture of existing processors is inadequate to meet today’s deep learning and AI processing needs,” says Orr Danon, Hailo CEO. “Hailo is revolutionizing the underlying architecture of the processor to boost deep learning processing by several orders of magnitude. We have completely redesigned the pillars of computer architecture – memory, control and compute – and the relations between them.”

Zohar Zisapel, Hailo Chairman, added: “In the last few years, we are witnessing a revolution in the automotive industry with the quick entry of new players and technologies into the market. The product that Hailo is developing is expected to be a key component in this revolution in which artificial intelligence is one of the building blocks.”

Hailo’s leadership team includes Orr Danon, CEO, Avi Baum, CTO, and Hadar Zeitlin, Chief Business Development Officer. Danon served in a top Israel Defense Forces technology unit and is a recipient of the Israel Defense Prize. Baum held several senior engineering management positions at Texas Instruments, including serving as CTO for the Wireless Connectivity Group. Zeitlin also served in the same IDF technology unit for nine years and was awarded the Chief of Staff Prize for technological excellence. Hailo’s development team leaders include senior hardware and software engineers, many of whom served in top technology units in the IDF and worked for companies like Intel, Broadcom and Mellanox.

The company is currently collaborating with major players in the industry who are examining the use of its technology. Eli Nir, Senior Investment Partner at OurCrowd, stated: “We are convinced that the extensive need in the market, Hailo’s breakthrough technology and unique team will allow Hailo to bring the deep learning revolution to edge devices.”