Mega-satellite constellation OneWeb has raised $1.25 billion (€1.1bn) in fresh funding as part of its plan to launch an initial 648 satellites to provide a global broadband service.
OneWeb has started deploying its fleet. Six satellites are already in orbit, and a new Florida factory built in a joint-venture with Airbus is now turning out the remaining satellites at a rate of about two a day.
The fresh cash has come from its principal backer, Japan’s SoftBank as well as Qualcomm, Grupo Salinas and the Government of Rwanda. Airbus, Virgin Group, Coca-Cola and Intelsat are already investors.
The new money takes the total raised to some $3.4 billion.
“We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and this funding helps ensure our globally shared dream will soon become a reality,” said Greg Wyler (pictured), the founder of OneWeb.
“OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network,” said Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group.