OneWeb picks up £293M in new funding from SoftBank and Hughes

ONEWEB Image credits: ONEWEB

Based out of London, OneWeb is a global communications company that aims to deliver broadband connectivity worldwide to bridge the global digital divide.  

Backed by SoftBank

Recently, the company has secured additional funding from SoftBank Group Corp. and Hughes Network Systems LLC, bringing OneWeb’s total funding to $1.4 billion (approx £1 billion). 

This funding positions the UK company to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, totalling 648 satellites, by the end of 2022.

Connect everyone, everywhere

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company jointly owned by the UK Government and Bharti Global is on a mission to connect everyone, everywhere. 

Through a global constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit, OneWeb will be able to deliver high-speed, low-latency services everywhere. The company’s LEO satellite system includes a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals for different customer markets. 

Launched 110 satellites 

OneWeb’s global service will deliver new solutions for Broadband, Government, and Cellular Backhaul. Its high-speed, low-latency, network will offer mobility solutions to industries that rely on global connectivity, such as Aviation, Maritime, Automotive, Trains, and more.

Back in December 2020, the company launched 36 new satellites, built at its Airbus Joint Venture assembly plant in Florida, USA, bringing the company’s total fleet to 110 satellites.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Executive Chairman of OneWeb, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the investment from SoftBank and Hughes. Both are deeply familiar with our business, share our vision for the future, and their commitment allows us to capitalise on the significant growth opportunity ahead for OneWeb. We gain from their experience and capabilities, as we deliver a unique LEO network for the world.”

Secretary of State, BEIS, The Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, MP, says: “Our investment in OneWeb is part of our continued commitment to the UK’s space sector, putting Britain at the forefront of the latest technological advances. Today’s investment brings the company one step closer to delivering its mission to provide global broadband connectivity for people, businesses, and governments, while potentially unlocking new research, development, and manufacturing opportunities in the UK.”

Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, said, “We are excited to support OneWeb as it increases capacity and accelerates towards commercialisation. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bharti, the UK Government, and Hughes to help OneWeb deliver on its mission to transform internet access around the world.”

Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes, remarked, “OneWeb continues to inspire the industry and attract the best players in the business to come together to bring its LEO constellation to fruition. The investments made today by Hughes and SoftBank will help realise the full potential of OneWeb in connecting enterprise, government, and mobility customers, especially with multi-transport services that complement our own geostationary offerings in meeting and accelerating demand for broadband around the world.”

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, added“OneWeb’s mission is to connect everyone, everywhere. We have made rapid progress to re-start 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.”