OneWeb Secures $550 Million as Eutelsat Takes Significant Equity Stake in Satellite Broadband Company

  • Eutelsat investment brings OneWeb to $1.9 billion in total financing
  • Secures 80% of total financing, as latest launch puts almost 30% of Gen 1 fleet in space
  • Collaboration with Geostationary (GEO) satellite operator offers new customer opportunities
  • Eutelsat joins U.K. Government, Bharti Global and SoftBank as key investors

LONDON, 27 April 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, announces today that it has secured $550 million in funding from Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), bringing OneWeb’s total funding to $1.9 billion in fresh equity. This investment from one of the world’s most experienced and largest global operators is a vote of confidence in OneWeb and underscores the arrival of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites into mainstream long-term growth planning for major operators.

Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, will receive a c.24% equity stake in OneWeb and similar governance rights to the U.K. Government and Bharti Global, making it a significant equity partner and joining leading investors including the U.K. Government, Bharti Global and SoftBank. The investment is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

(more…)

OneWeb Secures $400 Million Investment from SoftBank, Hughes Network Systems

LONDON, 15 January, 2021 – OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company jointly owned by the UK Government and Bharti Global, announced today that it has secured additional funding from SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) and Hughes Network Systems LLC (“Hughes”), bringing OneWeb’s total funding to $1.4 billion. The capital raised to date positions the Company to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, totaling 648 satellites, by the end of 2022.

(more…)

Global Telecom Company Signs Lease at Spaceport America

LAS CRUCES, NM (New Mexico Spaceport Authority PR) — HAPSMobile Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s telecommunications operator SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) has chosen New Mexico’s Spaceport America for test operations and development of a specialized communications platform designed to provide internet connectivity to hard-to-reach places around the globe, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

(more…)

Skylo Emerges From Stealth With $116 Million in Funding for Most Affordable IoT Satellite Data Network

SAN MATEO, Calif. & BANGALORE, India & TEL AVIV, Israel, January 21, 2020 (Skylo PR) — Skylo, maker of the world’s most affordable and ubiquitous network that connects any machine or sensor, today announced that the company has emerged from Stealth with $116 million in total funding. The company previously raised $13 million in a Series A round that was co-led by DCM and Innovation Endeavors, and joined by Moore Strategic Ventures. The new Series B round raised $103 million, led by SoftBank Group and joined by all existing investors.

Skylo will bring instant, affordable and ubiquitous Internet of Things connectivity to millions of machines, sensors and devices, even in the most remote geographies. It is the world’s first company to leverage the cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) protocol via satellite, making it possible to instantly connect billions of sensors on objects and machines in remote areas.

(more…)

Softbank Writes Down $424.7 Million Investment in OneWeb

Ouch!

Citing a story in the Sunday Telegraph, City A.M. reports that Softbank took a £380 million ($424.7 million) impairment loss on its investment in OneWeb. Softbank is the largest shareholder in the Internet satellite company.

Airbus, Qualcomm and Virgin Group are among other shareholders in the London-based satellite firm, which boasts a valuation of more than $1bn (£823m) and has earned sought-after “unicorn” status.

In addition to the Softbank writedown, some early investors have lost as much as half of the value of their stakes, according to the report

Oneweb, which secured $1.25bn in its latest Softbank-led funding round, has ramped up its plans for satellite production amid competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.

Look Out Elon! Here Comes Zuck: Facebook Working on Satellite Internet Program

Mark Zuckerberg (Credit: Anthony Quintano)

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is working on a satellite Internet project designed to provide broadband access around the globe, Wired reports.

The emails show that the social network wants to launch Athena, its very own internet satellite, in early 2019. The new device is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” according to an application the social network appears to have filed with the FCC under the name PointView Tech LLC.

With the filing, Facebook joins Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb, two well-funded organizations working on similar projects. In fact, SpaceX launched the first two of what it hopes will be thousands of its Starlink satellites just this past February.

The emails, which date back to July 2016, and subsequent confirmation from Facebook, confirm a story published in May by IEEE Spectrum, which used public records to speculate that Facebook had started a satellite internet project.

The new emails detail meetings between FCC officials and lawyers from a firm Facebook appears to have hired, which specializes in representing clients before government agencies. In one exchange from 2016, a lawyer from the firm requests to meet with FCC officials in the Office of Engineering & Technology and the International Bureau Satellite Division to discuss applying for an experimental license to construct and operate a “small LEO [low Earth orbit] satellite system with a limited duration mission.” The emails indicate that Facebook also set up subsequent meetings with the FCC in June and December of 2017.











Start-up Space Blasts Off

Bryce Space and Technology has produced a new report, Start-up Space: Update on Investment in Commercial Space Ventures.

Below is the executive summary. You can also download the full report.

Executive Summary

The Start-Up Space series examines space investment in the 21st century and analyzes investment trends, focusing on investors in new companies that have acquired private financing. Space is continuing to attract increased attention in Silicon Valley and in investment communities world-wide. Space ventures now appeal to investors because new, lower-cost systems are envisioned to follow the path terrestrial tech has profitably traveled: dropping system costs and massively increasing user bases for new products, especially new data products. Large valuations and exits are demonstrating the potential for high returns.
(more…)











Intelsat-OneWeb Merger Collapses

Intelsat has announced that its planned merger with startup satellite Internet provider OneWeb has collapsed.

The complex deal put together by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp would have required holders of Intelsat’s $14 billion debt to accept discounts on what they are owed. The proposed debt swap found no takers prior to the May 31 deadline for accepting it. Intelsat and OneWeb had extended the deadline several times.

(more…)











OneWeb Raises $1.2 Billion for Global Satellite Internet

OneWeb satellite factory in Florida (Credit: OneWeb)
OneWeb satellite factory in Florida (Credit: OneWeb)

  • SoftBank Group Leads Fundraising Round with $1 Billion Investment
  • Investment Supports Engineering and High-Volume Manufacturing of Next Generation Satellites at a New Facility in Exploration Park, Florida
  • Expected to Create Nearly 3,000 New Engineering, Manufacturing and Supporting Jobs in the United States Over the Next Four Years
  • Designed to Accelerate Delivery of Affordable, High-Speed Internet to Rural Areas Across the United States and Emerging Markets
  • Reflects Companies’ Shared Commitment to Building the Infrastructure Driving Tomorrow’s Technology Applications and Economic Growth

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (OneWeb PR)–OneWeb Ltd. (“OneWeb”), which is building a constellation of satellites to enable global broadband access, and SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) announced today that OneWeb has secured $1.2 billion in funded capital from SoftBank and existing investors, of which $1 billion will come from SoftBank.

(more…)