Venture Capital: SoftBank And Hughes Invest $400M In Satellite Internet Operator OneWeb

January 18, 2021 | Latest News, News, Venture Capital

A consortium of investors including India’s Bharti Global and the UK government acquired OneWeb in bankruptcy proceedings.

The latest investment, comprising $350 million from SoftBank (TYO:9984) and $50 million from Echostar (NASDAQ: SATS) owned Hughes Network Systems, will allow OneWeb to continue the deployment of its initial 648-satellite constellation. (SPACENEWS)

In a statement, OneWeb said it had now raised $1.4 billion in financing. It confirmed that it was now sufficiently funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, expected to be placed in low earth orbit (LEO) by end-2022.

The company’s LEO satellite system includes a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals for different customer markets. The system is capable of delivering affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications services including a pathway to 5G internet.

OneWeb resumes satellite launch

OneWeb re-commenced the launch of its satellites on December 18, 2020, after emerging from bankruptcy.

It had deployed 36 new satellites, built at its Airbus Joint Venture assembly plant in Florida, USA. That brought the company’s total fleet to 110 satellites, all fully-functioning and benefiting from International Telecommunication Union spectrum priority.

OneWeb hopes to begin services by the fall of 2021 at latitudes above 50° North, with enough satellites expected to be in space by then as per its current launch schedule.

It will roll out its global service by 2022, by which time it hopes to complete the deployment of the full constellation.

“We have made rapid progress to re-start the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November,” said Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “We welcome the investments by SoftBank and Hughes as further proof of progress towards delivering our goal.”

Funding gap

According to SpaceNews, Sunil Bharti Mittal, who is executive chairman of OneWeb, estimated last month that the company would need $2.5 billion to complete its first constellation.

Therefore, about half of that amount still needs to be funded. Mittal is confident of raising that amount.

Mittal commented on the investment by SoftBank and Hughes: “Both are deeply familiar with our business, share our vision for the future, and their commitment allows us to capitalize on the significant growth opportunity ahead for OneWeb. We gain from their experience and capabilities, as we deliver a unique LEO network for the world.”

Related Story:  SpaceX Is “Mission Control” For Space Economy; Long-Term Value $100B

Free Industry News

Subscribe to our free newsletter for updates and news about alternatives investments.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Latest Alternative Investment News
Venture Capital: Bessemer Venture Raises $3.3B For Two New Funds, Welcomes New Partners
February 26, 2021     News, Venture Capital

Global early-stage venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday its raise of $3.3 billion across two new funds. BVP XI, which collected $2.475 billion, will focus on early-stage companies…
Alternative Investments/Real Estate: New Active, REIT-Based ETF From SS&C ALPS
February 26, 2021     Alternative Investments, News, Real Estate

SS&C ALPS Advisors have launched an actively managed, semi-transparent ETF that focuses on the U.S. REIT securities market. The ALPS Active REIT ETF (REIT) will trade on the NASDAQ.
FinTech: U.K.-Based Atom Bank To Raise £40M To Become Profitable, Go Public
February 26, 2021     FinTech, News

Atom Bank, which is based in Durham, U.K., plans to raise £40 million from its existing shareholders in a move to achieve profitability within a year. The digital bank also…
Digital Assets: Anchorage, The First Federally Chartered Digital Bank, Raises $80M
February 26, 2021     Digital Assets, News, Venture Capital

Federally chartered digital bank Anchorage announced Thursday its Series C raise of $80 million led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico.