The British government and Indian mobile network operator Bharti Global placed the winning bid to acquire OneWeb, a broadband megaconstellation startup that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after running out of funding, OneWeb said July 3.
OneWeb said it has secured $1 billion in new funding — $500 million from the British government to "deliver first UK sovereign space capability," and another $500 million from Indian mobile network operator Bharti Global — to recapitalize its constellation effort.
OneWeb, in a news release, said the funding will "effectuate the full end-to-end deployment of the OneWeb system," but did not specify if that system is the original 650-satellite constellation the company was pursuing prior to bankruptcy. OneWeb has 74 satellites in low Earth orbit.
"This deal underlines the scale of Britain's ambitions on the global stage," Alok Sharma, business secretary for the British government, said in a separate July 3 release from the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. "Our access to a global fleet of satellites has the potential to connect millions of people worldwide to broadband, many for the first time, and the deal presents the opportunity to further develop our strong advanced manufacturing base right here in the UK."
The U.K. government is set to try and take on Elon Musk's Starlink after it was crowned the winning bidder of failed satellite company OneWeb at an auction in New York.
[...] The $1 billion-plus rescue bid was made through a consortium involving India's Bharti Global, which through Bharti Airtel, is the third-largest mobile operator in the world, with over 425 million customers.
[...] U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed the government has pledged to invest $500 million and take a "significant" equity share in OneWeb, which is headquartered in London. The stake is reported to be around 20%.
Previously: OneWeb Goes Bankrupt, Lays Off Staff, Will Sell Satellite-Broadband Business [soylentnews.org]
OneWeb Seeks Permission to Launch 48,000 Satellites Despite Bankruptcy [soylentnews.org]