Recently rescued satellite communications company OneWeb secured $400 million in additional investment from Hughes Network Systems and SoftBank Group, as it continues to target 2022 for completion of its first full commercial fleet.
In a statement, OneWeb confirmed the new backing brought the total raised since entering bankruptcy protection in March 2020 to $1.4 billion, putting it on track to meet its target for completion of 648 orbiting satellites.
Financial Times (FT) reported SoftBank contributed $350 million of the fresh cash with the remainder coming from Hughes Network Systems.
The Japan-based group was one of the early backers of the project and retained a small stake gained from its status as a creditor when OneWeb was rescued from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by a consortium of the UK government and Bharti Airtel parent Bharti Enterprises.
As a result of its latest investment SoftBank will gain a place on OneWeb’s board.
OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said: “We have made rapid progress to restart the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November. We welcome the investments by SoftBank and Hughes as further proof of progress towards delivering our goal.”
The company plans to provide commercial communications services from a fleet of Low Earth Orbit birds in 2022: it has already launched 110 satellites and said the investments leave it “positioned” to be fully-funded to meet its aim.
However, FT estimated it needed to raise a further $1 billion.
OneWeb faces stiff competition in the sector from a number of other players using similar systems.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back