One-year-old data networking startup Armada has stepped out of stealth mode, unveiling ambitious plans to empower remote devices connected to Starlink, SpaceX’s low Earth orbit broadband constellation. The company has successfully raised over $55 million in funding to propel the development of computing tools that promise real-time data processing capabilities for off-the-grid locations, including oil rigs, battlefields, and more.

Armada’s innovative solution revolves around its portable Galleon data centers, designed to bring advanced computing capabilities to remote sites traditionally lacking terrestrial connectivity. These portable data centers, roughly the size of shipping containers at around nine meters in length, stand out for their mobility and compactness compared to conventional data centers housed in large buildings.

The technology aims to utilize SpaceX’s satellite network for global connectivity, providing customers with an operating system to manage multiple Starlink deployments across their businesses. This breakthrough would bridge the connectivity gap for locations that typically rely on satellite communication for data access.

Founders Fund, an early investor in SpaceX, took the lead in Armada’s funding round, joined by venture capital firms Lux Capital, Shield Capital, and 8090 Industries. Notably, Armada has not disclosed whether it is officially partnering with SpaceX, and the space exploration company has yet to comment on the venture.

The key focus of Armada’s technology is to democratize access to real-time data processing capabilities, comparable to those found in areas with terrestrial connectivity. The startup envisions deploying generative artificial intelligence platforms, such as ChatGPT, in remote locations, bringing advanced computational capabilities to the edges of networks.

Despite the veil being lifted, several crucial details remain undisclosed, including the timeline for Armada’s commercial operations. An Armada spokesperson revealed that most of the company’s 60 employees are based in Bellevue, Washington, in close proximity to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite development.

Leading the charge at Armada is co-founder Dan Wright, who assumed the role after resigning as the CEO of DataRobot last year. Wright’s departure from DataRobot was marked by controversy over stock sales by executives during the company’s peak private valuation of $6.3 billion.

Armada’s funding round saw participation from a diverse group of investors, including Felicis, Contrary, Valor Equity Partners, Marlinspike, 137 Ventures, Koch Real Estate Investments, and 8VC. The inclusion of undisclosed strategic investors adds an air of anticipation to Armada’s journey as it seeks to redefine data networking for remote and disconnected sites with the power of Starlink.

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