OneWeb Gets $1.2 Billion in Funded Capital Led by SoftBank Group
[Via Satellite 12-20-2016] OneWeb has secured $1.2 billion in funded capital from SoftBank Group and existing investors, of which $1 billion will come from SoftBank. The fundraising round will support OneWeb’s technological development and the construction of its high volume satellite production facility. The new facility, based in Exploration Park, Florida will be capable of producing 15 satellites per week at a fraction of the current cost, according to OneWeb, and expediting construction, launch and operations of the company’s communications network. The company expects to begin production at the new manufacturing facility beginning in 2018.
OneWeb expects the new investment capital to create nearly 3,000 new engineering, manufacturing and supporting jobs in the U.S. over the next four years. The SoftBank-led investment will also support development to enable global access to affordable high-speed internet services for everyone, including every unconnected school in the world by 2022, as well as using OneWeb’s technology for growing global markets including consumer broadband, connected cars, cellular backhaul and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. In connection with the investment, SoftBank Group Director Ronald D. Fisher will join OneWeb’s board of directors.