Aurora Insight: Creating Dynamic Wireless Data Maps
August 12, 2020 | Scott Murphy
Note: Aurora Insight is aiming to expand their team with a Senior Product Manager. Click here to apply and view the company’s other open positions. As always, visit AVG’s careers page to view job openings at all our portfolio companies.
Additionally, the company is seeking non-profit and municipal partners for an internal initiative to increase affordable connectivity. If you’re interested in partnering with Aurora on this program, or know of someone in your network who might be a good fit, click here to email Green D Managing Partner Laura Rippy so she can connect you with the company.
Wireless service providers (WSPs) are required to own or control all the licenses and infrastructure necessary to sell and deliver communications services to an end user. Establishing and maintaining these operations is both expensive and inefficient, especially for companies in adjacent fields with business models that rely on wireless connectivity. An IoT company that manufactures home security devices can’t afford to staff and manage a team of engineers to monitor their networks in the same way that large WSPs like AT&T can.
Aurora Insight, an Alumni Ventures Group portfolio company, is building a deeply technical solution to this complex problem. The company delivers a dynamic map of wireless spectrum connectivity in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than traditional methodologies. Launched in 2017, Aurora’s proprietary software has already earned them contracts with prominent WSPs in the U.S. and Japan.
Faster Results for a Fraction of the Cost
Aurora is able to provide carrier-grade engineering via a SaaS platform, which creates a continuously updated map of global, real-world spectrum data. To collect data, Aurora affixes hardware devices to aircraft that capture the radio waves of an entire city in a matter of hours. These sensors are flexible and adaptable to any frequency band, which allows it to capture information about all technology at once.
After it captures the relevant information, Aurora then pushes the data to the cloud for post-processing. Aurora has the opportunity to go back and analyze data to improve performance and find new metrics, gaining more insight and delivering incremental value at no added cost.
To date, Aurora’s devices are 15x cheaper and cover 5x the signal diversity and 21x the area per campaign compared to traditional hardware. A team of engineers would typically take days to capture similar data. Thus, Aurora provides companies with a scalable, affordable, low-friction solution to analyze and monitor wireless spectrum connectivity, without the need to hire or commission a team of radio frequency engineers.
Deep Industry Experience and Connections
Aurora Insight is led by founders with deep industry and sales experience. CEO and CoFounder Jennifer Alvarez most recently worked as Senior Program Manager at Southwest Research Institute, while CTO and Co-Founder Gus Moore (D ’99, Th ’01), previously held engineering and management positions at Ball Aerospace, Logos Technologies, and Lockheed Martin.
Alumni Ventures Group connected with Aurora through an alumni contact established by Green D Ventures, AVG’s fund for the Dartmouth community. Green D Managing Partner Laura Rippy cultivated a relationship with Moore over two years.
“We are lucky to have Green D as a partner as we work to grow Aurora Insight from a great idea to thriving business,” said Moore, who is also an investor in Green D Funds 2 and 3. “The support and encouragement Laura, her team, and the AVG network has given us is well above what we could have hoped for in an investor.”
AVG’s core funds frequently leverage alumni networks to access opportunities and build relationships with entrepreneurs and established VCs, which provides a unique, robust deal pipeline for our investors.
Green D sponsored Alumni Ventures Group’s participation in an $18 million round of funding led by True Ventures and Alsop Louie Partners. Rohit Sharma, Partner at True Ventures, has rich operational and investing experience in Aurora’s market and a strong relationship with the company’s management team. AVG siblings funds Chestnut Street Ventures (for the Penn community), Waterman Ventures (for the Brown community), and AVG’s Total Access Fund also deployed capital in the round. True Ventures first four funds are top decile performers versus other venture capital funds of their vintage.
How You Can Help Aurora Insight
Below is a note from CEO Jennifer Alvarez and CTO Gus Moore outlining how members of the Green D Ventures and Alumni Ventures Group community can contribute to their success:
As in any nascent company, finding our perfect product/market fit has been an iterative process. We are not 100% of the way there yet. We are very excited, however, about the traction we have with our spectrum intelligence and 5G measurement products. By providing unbiased inventories spectrum usage nationwide, we are giving our customers a leg up as they bid for valuable wireless spectrum, including in the upcoming FCC auction of 3.7GHz bands. And, as one of the few companies that can ID and locate 5G base-stations, we are the only source of competitive intelligence and rollout monitoring for the coming massive expansion in wireless connectivity.
- Join the Team: Aurora has built a phenomenal team that, of course, includes Dartmouth alumni. But finding diverse and talented new employees is always challenging for a new company. The Green D community and Alumni Ventures Group network are a unique resource for finding talent, which Aurora and other AVG portfolio companies are beginning to take advantage of. Visit the company’s Careers page to browse open positions, including an open role for a Senior Product Manager.
- Partner with Aurora: With the need for connectivity growing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aurora has launched an internal initiative to increase affordable connectivity. They are seeking partners to launch this new project, such as state and local rural connectivity programs and non-profits, to multiply its efforts to help target funding, infrastructure, and support to those who need it most. If you’re interested in partnering with Aurora on this program, or know of someone in your network who might be a good fit, click here to email Green D Managing Partner Laura Rippy so she can connect you with the company.