03.30.20 - OneWeb, the high speed internet satellite company, has announced its intentions to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy recently. The company had failed to secure $2 billion funding from its largest investor, SoftBank – forcing the company to file for chapter 11.
“Large constellations are very capital intensive, and investors have to be extremely patient because the returns aren’t going to be immediate,” says Matt Desch, the CEO Iridium – a failed internet satellite company from the 90s. “It’s unfortunate that OneWeb’s investors didn’t have the patience.”
OneWeb, which was founded in just 2012, was competing with companies such as SpaceX and Amazon in a race to build large constellations of high speed internet satellites around the globe. OneWeb believed that it was within arm’s reach of offering regional internet services by the end of the year, and global coverage soon after.
It’s unclear at this time what will become of OneWeb’s assets, which include 74 satellites currently in orbit. OneWeb is hardly the first company to file bankruptcy while trying to tackle the economics and finances of creating high speed internet for the world. In the 1990s, several companies attempted to connect the world with satellite constellations before going bankrupt.