© OneWeb General | March 21, 2019
Sat start-up OneWeb snags billion+ in new funding
Global communications company OneWeb has secured USD 1.25 billion in new capital, bringing the total funds raised to USD 3.4 billion and allowing it to immediately ramp up production at its new manufacturing facility in Florida.
This latest round of funding, led by led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda, will expedite OneWeb’s development of the “first truly global communications network” by 2021, according to a media release. The network is designed to 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, in the same media release. "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.” OneWeb’s low-Earth-orbit satellites, produced through its joint venture with Airbus and doing business as “OneWeb Satellites,” will begin expanding production at its new manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida this spring. Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. OneWeb plans to add more satellites to its constellation as needed to meet demands. The company’s network will provide services to billions and support the emerging digital economy and advanced mobile application needs. To support deployment, OneWeb relies on high-tech satellite operation centers in Virginia and in London, and has installed ground stations in Italy, Norway, and Canada; more are scheduled. In February, the company signed its first two client agreements. The initial one was inked with Intermatica for telecommunications services in Europe. The second, with Talia, will bring broadband connectivity to Africa and the Middle East. OneWeb is privately owned and employs approximately 115 people. The company is headquartered in Virginia, with additional offices in London, Florida, California.