Investor confidence in satellite startup OneWeb is out-of-this-world after the company successfully launched 6 satellites 3 weeks ago: OneWeb raised $1.25B to continue constructing its massive network of internet satellites.
The race to build extraterrestrial internet continues
OneWeb, which has now raised more than $3.4B in total funding, is in a small-scale space race with SpaceX to build a constellation of low-orbiting satellites to provide increased global internet connectivity.
Both companies plan to build massive networks of small satellites (OneWeb has plans for 650 with a few hundred to follow; SpaceX is shooting for more than 4k).
SpaceX has now successfully tested 2 satellites, and OneWeb has deployed 6. But OneWeb appears to be closer to the next phase: manufacturing and deploying satellites en masse.
A distant objective
While SpaceX has dabbled in all kinds of ventures ranging from Mars missions to military operations, OneWeb has focused instead on streamlining logistics for its satellite internet program.
OneWeb, in partnership with Airbus, has already built its own custom manufacturing facility.
According to OneWeb, after launching about 30 satellites per monthly launch, the company will be on track to demo its first internet connections next year and offer limited commercial service by 2021.