OneWeb has secured their largest fundraising round to date with the successful raise of $1.25 billion in new capital — this brings the total funds raised to $3.4 billion and this round was led by SoftBank Group Corp., Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and the Government of Rwanda.
The new funds, following the successful first launch of OneWeb’s satellites, enable the company to accelerate the development of the first truly global communications network by 2021. OneWeb’s system will deliver high speed, low latency, seamless broadband access, everywhere on Earth.
OneWeb’s satellites, produced through its joint venture with Airbus doing business as “OneWeb Satellites,” will ramp-up production this spring at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. Following the company’s successful launch of satellites on February 27th, OneWeb will embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history. Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. After this first phase, OneWeb will add more satellites to its constellation to meet growing demands.
OneWeb’s priority rights to a large block of globally harmonized spectrum and its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation design will enable a unique combination of high speed, low latency, and truly global service. OneWeb’s network will go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, enabling connectivity for rural communities and schools as well as for business and industries that demand seamless global connectivity solutions such as Aviation, Maritime, Backhaul, and Land Mobility. OneWeb’s customers will be able to develop and support a wide range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.
OneWeb’s network will provide services to billions and will support the emerging digital economy and advanced mobile application needs. To support the deployment of the system, OneWeb relies on high-tech satellite operation centers in both Virginia and in London, and has installed ground stations in Italy, Norway, and Canada, with more on the way. A global company, OneWeb now has offices in Virginia, London, Florida, California, and has recruited top talent around the world to execute the rollout of its system.
Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Group International commented that OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network. At SoftBank, the firm’s aim is to invest in transformative companies at the leading edge of technology disruption. OneWeb’s potential is undeniable as the growth in data from 5G, IoT, autonomous driving and other new technologies drives demand for capacity above and beyond the limits of the existing infrastructure.
Ricardo Salinas, Founder and Chairman of Grupo Salinas, said that he has worked for over 20 years to bring network access to people throughout Mexico and Latin America and have seen first-hand the power of connectivity to change and improve lives. OneWeb will have the ability to reach places that have previously been impossible to connect. The company is proud to be supporting Adrian and the entire OneWeb team and are looking forward to creating new opportunities for people everywhere.
Greg Wyler, Chairman and Founder of OneWeb, added the company is committed to bridging the digital divide and this funding helps ensure this globally shared dream will soon become a reality. OneWeb looks forward to continuing this work with the many supportive and forward-looking Governments, ISP’s, and Telecom Operators to help them broaden the reach of connectivity to connect people everywhere.