Starlink Rival OneWeb Raises $400M After Rescue From Bankruptcy
After emerging from bankruptcy with a joint rescue from the UK government and the Indian telecoms firm Bharti Global, OneWeb, a company seeking to build out a satellite internet network rivaling SpaceX’s Starlink, has raised $400 million in new funding from SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems, a subsidiary of the satellite communications provider EchoStar.
With the fresh $400 million round, OneWeb has now raised a total of $1.4 billion after emerging from bankruptcy. SoftBank provided $350 million out of the $400 million round, returning as an investor in OneWeb after previously pumping $1 billion into the company before getting its investment wiped out by a bankruptcy.
As it seems, SoftBank has much money to burn on OneWeb, returning to invest in the company after getting burned earlier. Before filing for bankruptcy, OneWeb had raised a whopping $3 billion in venture funding but didn’t give much output for that huge amount.
Now controlled by the UK government and Bharti Global, OneWeb is seeking to further its cause after emerging from bankruptcy. The company has made changes including cutting its grand plan of launching a constellation of 48,000 satellites down to about 6,400. It plans to have launched 648 satellites by the end of 2022.
“OneWeb’s mission is to connect everyone, everywhere. We have made rapid progress to re-start the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November. We welcome the investments by SoftBank and Hughes as further proof of progress towards delivering our goal,” OneWeb’s new CEO Neil Masterson said in a press statement.
With its investment, SoftBank will gain a board seat at the new OneWeb.