OneWeb, satellite operator, has filed for bankruptcy despite US$3 billion in investment
British satellite operator OneWeb filed for bankruptcy and reorganization of the company in New York court, it is stated on the operator's website.
Since early 2020, the company has been actively negotiating investments that would finance its work, but due to market instability associated with coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, agreements have not been reached.
According to the Financial Times, the startup had been negotiating for several months to raise US$2 billion with one of its investors,SoftBank. According to one of the sources, the negotiations failed in late March 2020. OneWeb and SoftBank refused to comment.
OneWeb wanted to provide high-speed Internet access around the world using a satellite system. By March 2020, the company had launched 74 of the 650 units planned by the end of 2021. In total, the startup attracted over US$3 billion from SoftBank, Qualcomm, Virgin Group and others.
On March 23, TechCrunch wrote that OneWeb had cut 10% of its staff and warned of possible delays in launches due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The startup then confirmed the redundancies without specifying the total number of downsized employees.
Before that, Bloomberg sources said the company was considering filing a bankruptcy suit and other options to cope with the lack of funds amid strong competition from SpaceX, which launched the first Internet distribution satellites in 2018, and Kuiper, the project from Amazon.