Based out of London, OneWeb builds a space-based global communications network that delivers high-speed, low latency internet access everywhere. As per the latest news coming in, the company has filed for bankruptcy and intends to sell its business.
In their official blog, OneWeb posted:
“OneWeb and certain of its controlled affiliates have voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.”
Failed to raise funds!
According to the Financial Times, OneWeb has laid off 500 of its employees after failing to raise somewhere around $2 billion from Softbank for its planned commercial launch in 2021. Notably, OneWeb had been engaged in advanced negotiations regarding the investment that would fully fund the company through its deployment and commercial launch.
OneWeb is actively negotiating debtor-in-possession financing, which, if acquired and approved by the Bankruptcy Court, will ensure OneWeb is able to fund additional financial commitments as it conducts a sale process under Section 363 of the US Bankruptcy Code.
Founded by Greg Wyler in 2012, the company has successfully launched 74 satellites as part of its constellation, secured valuable global spectrum, and begun development on a range of user terminals for a variety of customer markets.
Key competitor of Space X!
It’s worth mentioning that OneWeb was a key competitor with Space X’s Starlink satellite broadband project. Both OneWeb and Canadian entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites operate in low Earth orbits in an attempt to provide lower latency. Both the companies were in stiff competition to build a satellite internet mega-constellation.
The UK company previously raised $3 billion (approx €2.7 billion) over multiple rounds and was seeking more money to support its deployment and commercial launch.
Furthermore, OneWeb has performed successful demonstrations of its system with broadband speeds over 400 Mbps and latency of 32 ms.
Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, stated:
“OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed, low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. So many people have dedicated so much energy, effort, and passion to this company and our mission. Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”
Main image credits: OneWeb
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