OneWeb said it has secured $550 million (about Rs 4,100 crore) in funding from Eutelsat Communications (Representative image)
OneWeb on Tuesday said it has secured $550 million (about Rs 4,100 crore) in funding from Eutelsat Communications, which will get about 24 percent stake in the broadband satellite communications company.
Bharti-group backed OneWeb said that the new investment would take the total funding to $1.9 billion in fresh equity.
"This investment from one of the world's most experienced and largest global operators is a vote of confidence in OneWeb and underscores the arrival of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites into mainstream long-term growth planning for major operators," OneWeb statement said.
One of the world's leading satellite operators, Eutelsat, will receive about 24 percent equity stake in OneWeb and similar governance rights to the UK Government and Bharti Global, making it a significant equity partner and joining leading investors like British Government, Bharti Global and SoftBank.
The investment is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to statutory approvals, it added.
OneWeb's 648 LEO satellite fleet would deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity and its partnership with Eutelsat, a global geostationary satellite operator, would enhance both companies' commercial potential -- leveraging Eutelsat's established commercial reach to governments and enterprise customers, besides its strong institutional relationships, technical expertise and global fleet.
"OneWeb's ability to address multiple applications requiring low latency and ubiquity will also allow both companies to explore GEO/LEO configurations for future service integrations and packages," the statement noted.
Once OneWeb completes the full deployment of the constellation, the company anticipates annual revenues of nearly $1 billion in year three or soon thereafter, on the back of its partnership driven, wholesale business plan.
Commenting on the development, Sunil Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises said, "We are delighted to welcome Eutelsat into the OneWeb family. As an open multi-national business, we are committed to serving the global needs of governments, businesses and communities across the world".
Mittal added: "Together we are stronger, benefitting from the entrepreneurial energy of Bharti, the extensive global outreach of the UK Government and the expertise in the satellite industry at Eutelsat. OneWeb, with its innovative and disruptive approach, is poised to take a leading position in LEO broadband connectivity."