[Satellite Today 07-02-09] Avanti Communications has raised further funds ahead of the launch of its Hylas satellite, the company announced July 1. Avanti placed 14 million new ordinary shares in the company, raising 31.5 million British pounds ($52.2 million), before expenses. Avanti said it would use this money “to fund the upgrade of the launch service provider for the launch of its Hylas satellite to Arianespace,” according to a company statement. Avanti also received a contribution to the upgrade costs of 12.5 million euros ($17.6 million) from the European Space Agency (ESA), using the British government budget by way of an extension to the existing ESA contract, which originally provided 24 million British pounds ($39.8 million) towards the costs of Hylas. The Hylas satellite could be launched as early as the second quarter of 2010, the company said.