OneWeb raises £942m to mass-produce high-speed internet satellites
OneWeb, a London-based global communications company has announced it has secured its largest fundraising round to date with the successful raise of $1.25billion (£942m) in new capital.
This brings the total funds raised to $3.4 billion. This round was led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda.
The new funds, following the successful first launch of OneWeb’s satellites, enable the company to accelerate the development of the first global communications network by 2021. OneWeb’s system will deliver high speed, low latency, seamless broadband access, everywhere on Earth.
"This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition," said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb.
"With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation.
"Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Virgin, and Hughes.”
The company said it will ramp up the production at its Florida manufacturing facility this spring, with plans to launch of 30 satellites every month beginning in the fourth quarter. The
firm said this will mark the largest satellite launch campaign in history and will lead to an initial group of 650 satellites.