Investments have since followed from SoftBank of Japan (also an original investor), EchoStar of the U.S. and Eutelsat of France. Now, Hanwha Systems – a technology and manufacturing company – is investing $300m in OneWeb for an 8.8% share.
It brings OneWeb’s total equity investment to $2.7bn, with no debt issuance. The investment is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.
So far, the company has launched 254 satellites into orbit, but its planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites – due to deliver global coverage in 2022 – is already fully funded, the company has previously said.
OneWeb’s network will be ready to offer connectivity services from the 50th parallel and above by the end of 2021.
“Hanwha brings advanced defence and antenna technology development to the OneWeb line-up,” said Neil Masterson, CEO at OneWeb. “We are all delighted that they have chosen to join us on this journey of innovation, shaping a global service to connect the most remote locations and to provide a critical digital pathway from space to our interconnected world.”
The UK government also had its say.
“[The] $300m investment in OneWeb by Hanwha is the latest in a series of votes of confidence in the company from the market,” said UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng. “It’s clear that leading global investors see a promising future for this ground-breaking company and a robust commercial case for investment.”
“The Government’s equity stake in OneWeb not only allows the UK to capitalise on our first-mover advantage to deploy low Earth orbit technology but will put our country at the forefront of the small satellite market, which is set to rapidly expand over the years ahead.”
The company’s aim is to “deliver broadband connectivity worldwide to bridge the global Digital Divide by offering everyone, everywhere access including to the Internet of Things (IoT) future and a pathway to 5G”.
Image: Hanwha Systems
See also: OneWeb massively scales back constellation plans