OneWeb goes bankrupt, lays off staff, will sell satellite-broadband business

Illustration of a OneWeb satellite in space.

Enlarge / Illustration of a OneWeb satellite. (credit: OneWeb)

OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy and intends to sell its business, bringing an abrupt end to the company’s plan to offer high-speed satellite Internet service around the world.

OneWeb announced Friday that it “voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the [US] Bankruptcy Code,” and “intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.” OneWeb made the decision “after failing to secure new funding from investors including its biggest backer SoftBank,” largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times wrote. OneWeb also “axed most of its staff on Friday,” the FT article said.

OneWeb previously raised $3 billion over multiple rounds of financing and was seeking more money to fund its deployment and commercial launch. “Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” OneWeb CEO Adrián Steckel said in the bankruptcy announcement. “We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere.”

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Biz & IT – Ars Technica