BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zephr, a leading developer of next-generation GPS technologies, today announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Space Capital and First Spark Ventures as it officially launches a groundbreaking “networked GPS” solution to dramatically improve GPS accuracy and reliability, creating new economic opportunities for many current and emerging industries. The new funding will support Zephr’s GTM strategy as the company gears up for rapid growth over the next year.
Zephr’s goal is simple: to make GPS more accurate and consistent for everyone. The company’s pioneering approach uses a computationally networked solution to significantly enhance GPS accuracy for mobile devices (not survey grade GPS) – achieving a remarkable average accuracy of sub-60cm for mobile phones, which is typically not seen in consumer GPS solutions. Zephr will also be able to increase accuracy in dense urban environments, where building bounce and blocked line-of-sight create challenges for GPS. Critically, Zephr delivers its GPS augmentation without the need for hardware changes to the device. As a standalone SDK, Zephr’s solution is purely software-based, as opposed to traditional solutions which require a new chipset or firmware. This allows billions of existing mobile devices to easily upgrade their GPS accuracy directly out of the box.
“GPS is an essential technology for so many services we now rely on, and yet it is plagued by inaccuracy. This poses many challenges for businesses and consumers, and it will hamper the growth of developing technologies like augmented reality and autonomy,” said Sean Gorman, PhD, CEO of Zephr. “Improved accuracy in GPS can translate into millions of dollars in economic benefit, but for us, it’s about more than just money. A more accurate GPS system can also improve daily routines and personal safety, from preventing navigational errors to creating safer collision avoidance systems in vehicles and enabling more advanced search-and-rescue efforts.”
“Next-gen GPS is critical for the global economy and it will power a new wave of technology applications in the coming years,” said Chad Anderson, Founder and Managing Partner of Space Capital. “Zephr’s approach is truly unique and it has the potential to become an integral technology in the next phase of GPS. We are excited to partner with them and we have high expectations for the company.”
Addressing a Critical Gap in GPS Technology
In spite of growing demands, consumer GPS technology (used by mobile devices, wearables, etc.) hasn’t experienced a meaningful update since 2000 and it remains prone to errors, low accuracy and reliability problems.
Zephr’s patent-pending technology solves these problems through a multi-receiver system – by turning users’ mobile devices into base stations which generate ensemble error corrections to significantly improve GPS accuracy, down to an average result of sub-60cm. Through interconnected GNSS (global navigation satellite system) measurements across multiple devices, Zephr’s networked GPS system eliminates common errors and inaccuracies, while also guaranteeing a highly stable and reliable signal that is at less risk of interference.
Zephr’s more precise and consistent GPS solution can significantly improve cost savings and revenue opportunities for a wide range of industries, including navigation, delivery/logistics, rideshare, auto insurance, agriculture, advertising, location-based apps and more. It also enables new/emerging fields, such as autonomy (from vehicles to robotics and drone-based delivery systems), augmented reality, location-based gaming and smart cities.
The company’s GPS technology has undergone extensive testing, using simulation software by SRI International and exhaustive field testing with real smartphones under difficult conditions. “SRI’s investment and technical collaboration with Zephr is a natural extension of our deep experience in position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies,” said Ryan Lewis, Partner at SRI Ventures. “Zephr’s software-first solution enabled them to quickly iterate and troubleshoot during the test and evaluation phase of our work program. Their performance and time-to-market has exceeded our expectations.”
Zephr is committed to protecting user privacy, and it does not collect, store or sell personal information.
Learn more about Zephr at www.zephr.xyz.
Zephr is a leading developer of next-generation GPS technologies that deliver unprecedented location accuracy and reliability for all users, while at the same time ensuring user privacy. Zephr’s enhanced GPS is a standalone SDK that will allow any mobile app to easily upgrade GPS accuracy by embedding the feature. Founded in 2022 by mapping industry veterans Dr. Sean Gorman, Dr. Pramukta Rao, Dr. Kostas Stamatiou and Scotty Nelson, the company is supported by several leading investors and industry figures, including Space Capital, First Spark Ventures and SRI Ventures.