Advanced Television

Rivada: Where’s the money?

March 24, 2024

Rivada Space Networks is in the process of building the first batch of 300 low Earth orbiting satellites. Terran Orbital is building the satellites for Rivada, and there is an option for a further 300 satellites.

But there are anxieties over how the fleet is being paid for. Rivada’s obligations are considerable: They are contracted to pay $2.4 billion to Terran and by serendipity the CEOs of Rivada and Terran were both speakers and sitting on the same panel last week at the Washington Satellite 2024 conflab.

However, while Rivada’s Declan Ganley talked buoyantly about his company’s prospects and that its “order book” backlog pipeline was already in excess of an impressive $7 billion, he declined to add any colour to where the cash would come from to pay Terran. He said one sovereign fund investor came aboard at the end of last year, and that one or two more were on the way. The initial strategic investor was expected to follow up with a more significant investment soon.”

“We’re on a very good trajectory where that’s concerned,” he explained, adding that the damage to Red Sea and West African undersea cables over the past few days proved that telcos wanted safety. “Enterprises faced with cable-cut risks know they can go straight to [Rivada’s ‘Outernet’] and not touch ground again. They can go terminal to terminal, any place on the planet, not having to touch the internet.”

Ganley praised Terran’s CEO Marc Bell, who from the stage confirmed that Rivada were “current” with its payment obligations. Bell responded emphatically “Yes sir!”, and Bell advised Ganley to keep Rivada in private hands and not to go public.”

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