SpaceNews reports that LeoSat, a company that planned to deliver high-speed Internet using as many as 108 satellites, has folded due to lack of investment.
Mark Rigolle, CEO of LeoSat, told SpaceNews Nov. 13 that the company laid off all 13 employees — himself included — in August after its earlier investors decided not to fund the company any longer.
LeoSat was anticipating that Spanish satellite operator Hispasat and Sky Perfect Jsat of Japan would complete LeoSat’s $50 million Series A after each made initial investments — Jsat in 2017, Hispasat in 2018 — but neither did.
Rigolle said management changes at both companies this year prompted a reversal of their previous intent to invest further in the low-Earth-orbit broadband venture within months of each other, if not less.
“I couldn’t have dreamt up a worse scenario,” Rigolle said. “This is like SoftBank suddenly saying to OneWeb ‘you’re not getting any more money,’ or Jeff Bezos saying in two years time, ‘no, bad idea, I’m not funding [Kuiper] anymore. It’s a 180-degree turn.”