9 telecoms start-ups that want to connect the world

26 Mar 2020

Image: © Özgür Güvenç/Stock.adobe.com

This week, we take a look at telecoms start-ups working on communication tech from satellites to IoT.

A blue banner that reads 'Future Comms Week: Exploring the new demands of the online world'.

Last month, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 was scheduled to take place in Barcelona, but was cancelled as a precaution to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. The event usually attracts some of the most exciting telecoms start-ups and companies from across the world to showcase their latest technologies.

Because MWC didn’t go ahead, we’ve decided to round up some of the telecoms businesses pushing global communication and IoT forward in Europe and beyond. Our list includes companies specialising in analytics for telecoms, start-ups building software for the industry, and a business that wants to launch satellites to make the internet more accessilbe.


Dublin-based Danalto is a start-up that wants to provide the DNA for the accelerated deployment, support and maintenance of massive-scale IoT. The company, which is a spin-out of Trinity College Dublin, was founded by David McDonald, Tom Farrell and Albert Baker in 2017. At the end of 2018, the start-up raised €750,000 in seed funding.

The firm has launched the Danalto CardinalTM platform, which aims to provide a unified view of the latest location, tracking, commissioning, data attestation, device identity management and connectivity management services for a broad range of IoT device and connectivity types.

This platform puts a specific focus on sustainable low-energy, massive IoT devices, systems and applications to help create solutions for service creation, deployment and operation, targeting pain points in smart city infrastructure management.


Riaktr, formerly known as Real Impact Analytics, is a Belgian start-up that helps telecoms businesses to make data-based decisions using real-time analytical tools. Riaktr’s technology has been adopted by Orange, Airtel, Digicel, Telefonica and Vodacom, among others.

The business was founded in 2009 by Loïc Jacobs van Merlen and Sebastien Deletaille. The founders wanted to create a solution focusing on some of the common challenges that mobile network operators face.

In 2016, the company raised €12m in its Series A round, from investors including Fortino Capital, Endeit Capital and GMIV.


Cork-based Ringotel has developed an all-in-one customer messaging and team collaboration solution, which enables businesses to connect with customers across any channel and work with their teams via voice, video and messaging by combining existing communication technologies such as Skype, Messenger, Viber and Telegram.

The business was founded in 2017 with the aim of enabling users to control every aspect of their customer service processes, with real-time indicators and chronological statistics, information about queues, customer interactions, user stats and KPIs.

The platform aims to help enterprises, telcos and service providers to launch new services and improve existing communication processes, while reducing the cost of scaling.

Software Radio Systems

Software Radio Systems specialises in high-performance software for wireless systems, with an approach that is targeting commodity processing hardware and flexible RF front-ends to deliver cutting-edge wireless solutions.

It was founded in 2012 by Dr Paul Sutton, Dr Linda Doyle and Dr Ismael Gomez from Trinity College Dublin’s Connect Centre.

The company’s radio systems implement components such as modulators and demodulators, filters and detectors into software, rather than hardware, as was traditionally the case.

The team also offers consulting on wireless system modelling, analysis and simulation, as well as training and testbed development.


Mavoco is an Austrian start-up that manufactures software for an IoT connectivity management platform (CMP) for telecom providers. The company was founded by Helmut Lehner and Anton Cabrespina.

The Austrian firm believes that its CMP software can ensure that devices and machines can communicate securely and cost-effectively over the internet, 24 hours a day, throughout their lifetime.

The company offers its CMP software to industries that are innovating in IoT, including telecoms, mobile virtual network operators, utility providers and smart cities, as well as industrial and manufacturing companies.

Aspire Technology

Aspire Technology, which was founded in 2010, is based in Sandyford, Dublin. The start-up offers OpenRAN Lab, software solutions, network services and consultation to communication service providers, network equipment manufacturers and technology partners.

Aspire Technology was founded by Bill Walsh, and the company has grown to deliver its services to businesses in more than 25 countries.

In 2017, the company announced 150 new jobs, expanding its Dublin headquarters with the aim of eventually supporting more than 50m mobile customers.


London-headquartered FloLive provides secure, cloud-native security solutions to enterprises and mobile operators that want global coverage. The start-up’s goal is to solve the complex puzzle of connectivity and implementing IoT by keeping each element connected.

Founded in 2015, the company has developed a platform comprising local core networks that provide local connectivity while being centrally managed and controlled over the cloud. Last month, the company raised $21.5m in Series B funding, backed by 83North, Dell Technologies Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Saban Ventures.


Co-founded by John Gedmark and Ryan McLinko, space internet start-up Astranis was launched in San Francisco in 2015. Since then, the company has worked with SpaceX, NASA, Apple, Boeing, Google, Qualcomm, OneWeb and many others on its mission to lower the cost of telecommunications.

Astranis recognises that there are still around 4bn people on the planet without internet access and the start-up wants to build smaller telecommunications satellites to bring that portion of the world online.

Earlier this year, Astranis raised €90m in new funding. The company counts Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator and Refactor Capital among its investors.

Aqua Comms

Founded in 2011, Aqua Comms was launched with a vision to build, acquire or merge subsea fibre-optic cable networks to provide reliable, high-performance networking solutions for customers. The Dublin-based company is led by CEO Nigel Bayliff.

Rather than directly serving end customers in any geographic location, Aqua Comms provides capacity for the companies that use telecoms as part of their businesses, such as internet service providers, major content providers and carriers.

The start-up is the owner and operator of the America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1) and CeltixConnect-1, connecting Ireland, the UK and the US to Europe. The AEC-1 runs from Long Island to Co Mayo, while the CeltixConnect-1 links Dublin to Holyhead in Wales.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic