Japan-headquartered SoftBank agreed to invest $1 billion in US satellite firm OneWeb as part of a $1.2 billion round of fundraising by the venture, which aims to deliver affordable internet access to remote regions around the world.
The remaining $200 million will be funded by OneWeb’s current investors, which include Qualcomm, Airbus Group and Virgin Group, Reuters reported.
SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son pledged to invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US, where he controls operator Sprint, following a meeting with President elect Donald Trump in early December.
Son said the OneWeb investment is the first step in that commitment. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2017.
According to Reuters, SoftBank will make a direct investment in OneWeb, even though Son has said that large investments would be made through a newly established $100 billion tech fund it is launching with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential partners.
OneWeb, which was set up 2012, plans to build a factory in Florida to produce low-cost satellites.