SpaceX rival, OneWeb, files for bankruptcy due to COVID-19

The Earth from space

OneWeb, a firm responsible for launching 74 web satellites, has filed for bankruptcy due to its inability to get more funds. The current economic crisis, caused by COVID-19 was to blame for OneWeb not getting funding even though “it was close to obtaining financing”. Had the firm not run into difficulty, it would have established a constellation of satellites to provide net access to many locations, affordable for people and businesses around the world.

According to the firm, it has been in advanced negotiations since the beginning of the year. If it had succeeded, the investment would have fully funded the company through its deployment and commercial launch. Unfortunately, COVID-19’s impact on the market appears to have spooked investors with them withdrawing their money.

Commenting on the decision to file for bankruptcy, Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, said:

“Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. ... Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. ... Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”

The company is now trying to negotiate debtor-in-possession financing which will allow OneWeb to fund additional financial commitments. It says the actions it is taking now will allow it to meet its obligations to its remaining employees and other vendors “in the ordinary course.”

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