Space tech startup OneWeb raises $550 million in new funding to bring Internet connectivity to everyone, everywhere
It’s been over two years since we last wrote about OneWeb, a global communications startup company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere, through a global satellite constellation. Back then, OneWeb secured $1.25 billion from Japanese giant SoftBank to mass-produce high-speed internet satellites.
Today, OneWeb announced it has secured $550 million in funding from Eutelsat Communications. The new funding which gives Eutelsat a c.24% equity stake in OneWeb, brings its 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.
Yesterday, OneWeb successfully launched another 36 satellites into its constellation bringing the system to 182 satellites. The company has only two more launches left in its ‘Five to 50′ program that will cement the company’s ability to start connectivity services to the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada, with global service available next year.
Founded in 2011 by Greg Wyler, its mission is to address the most demanding global connectivity challenges and sudden infrastructure crises. OneWeb is the first to launch a 5G network in space. Its mission is to enable Internet access for everyone, everywhere. OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world. Its high speed, low latency network will offer game-changing mobility solutions to industries that rely on global connectivity.
OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. It’s a partnership with Eutelsat, a global geostationary satellite operator, will enhance both companies’ commercial potential, leveraging Eutelsat’s established commercial reach to governments and enterprise customers in addition to its strong institutional relationships, recognized technical expertise, and global fleet. OneWeb’s ability to address multiple applications requiring low latency and ubiquity will also allow both companies to explore GEO/LEO configurations for future service integrations and packages.
Commenting on the new funding, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises said: “We are delighted to welcome Eutelsat into the OneWeb family.
“As an open multi-national business, we are committed to serving the global needs of governments, businesses, and communities across the world. Together we are stronger, benefitting from the entrepreneurial energy of Bharti, the extensive global outreach of the UK Government, and the expertise in the satellite industry at Eutelsat. OneWeb, with its innovative and disruptive approach, is poised to take a leading position in LEO broadband connectivity.”