COVID-19 Takes Down Satellite Company One Web
“OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere,” the CEO of One Web said in a recent release. “Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere.”
I can agree with the last sentence. At the current moment, at least 60% of the world’s total population has access to the internet. We can’t have further opportunity creation if people have varying internet connections or lack of internet at all.
For instance, you can’t have mobility via an Uber, if you don’t have access to the internet. In a world where access to the internet means more access to opportunity and a better life, companies such as One Web who choose to build a truly global communications network matters.
Unfortunately One Web is in the initial stages of bankruptcy due to a lack of funding due to economic issues related to the coronavirus.
It Costs Real Money to be in the Satellite Industry
One Web backers such as Softbank must prioritize funds to keep itself steady and investors happy while looking out for its portfolio. Softbank is also reconsidering further funding options for other companies such as WeWork. The coronavirus changed the dynamic for companies across the world as lack of inflows and economic disruption cause significant issues for all parties. The company still pressed forward and did a satellite launch recently before announcing a bankruptcy filing.
Why did the company need so much money? Why didn’t it preserve cash?
Remember that running a satellite company is no walk in the park. The company states that it costs about a $1 million or more to manufacture each satellite. Also, SpaceX, a rival raised over $1 billion raising its total value to $30 billion. Think about that. It has raised close to a total of $3.5 billion and is one of the growing giants in the new space race.
But SpaceX isn’t the only one with satellite ambitions. Bezos has his company and there is Maxar technologies present among other companies.
OneWeb going into bankruptcy is a loss for the industry as more players with unique insight helps to further the new space race.
Here’s a look at their most recent satellite launch.