SmartSky Secures $25M From BlackRock Funds
SmartSky Networks has received an additional $25 million from funds managed by the Global Credit Opportunities team at BlackRock, the company announced on Monday. Funds managed by the Global Credit Opportunities platform at BlackRock previously committed to a $75 million credit facility, with $50 million drawn initially. SmartSky said the final $25 million was contingent upon progress with its nationwide network rollout, which it achieved in November.
SmartSky’s goal is to build a new-generation network from the ground up with a single-beam-per-aircraft approach using both proven 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies. The company says it is progressing toward a network deployment in 2020 after eight years of development with more than 140 patents and more than 1,000 hours of flight testing.
“Customers have a huge pent-up demand for a fully capable airborne network that provides a phenomenal 10x better experience in the sky while also opening significant possibilities for advancing aviation in maintenance, environmental, operational, financial, and other areas,” SmartSky President Ryan Stone said.