Three-dimensional geolocation specialist NextNav announced it has raised $120 million in debt and equity financing with the aim of launching phased 3D geolocation services across the U.S., the company said in a release.
Funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group led the round, with NextNav’s existing investor base, including Columbia Capital, Telcom Ventures, funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., NEA, Oak Investment Partners and Future Fund, all participating.
NextNav said it will use this round of capital for a phased deployment of its geolocation platform, known as Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS), starting with its precise “altitude determination” capability (“Z service”) enabling “floor level” determination in major urban markets across the U.S. Subsequent phases of the MBS deployment, which the company said is similar to GPS, will provide precise 3D position, navigation and timing indoors and in urban areas and can also act as a backup to GPS for critical infrastructure, mobile phones, IoT devices and autonomous systems, according to NextNav.
Current location services only provide horizontal position (or x-y) of the smartphone or IoT device; with the MBS platform’s phased deployment the vertical dimension (or “Z Axis”) can also be determined precisely — which the company categorizes at within 3 meters. The technology enables new capabilities, such as allowing wireless carriers to precisely geolocate callers in the “Z dimension” and meet the Federal Communication Commission’s latest 911 requirements, improve situational awareness for first responders, provide better context in commercial location-based services and determine precise altitude for drones and other autonomous systems.
“We are pleased to welcome Fortress to our investor group, and for taking the lead on a financing that we believe will have a transformational effect on location services and bring a new ‘dimension (Z)’ to commercial and public safety applications in the mobile, IoT and autonomous vehicles at scale,” said Ganesh Pattabiraman, NextNav’s co-founder and CEO.
“NextNav has the technology and the vision to pioneer a fundamentally new chapter for location-based services,” said Drew McKnight, managing partner of Fortress. “NextNav has built an extensive and impressive technology platform and we believe commercializing their Z-Axis service will be game changing for the industry.”