Billions in Space Funding in 2020, Including $1 Billion Oneweb Deal

In the first quarter of 2020, there was $1.2 billion invested into space companies. $535 million was for two funding rounds for SpaceX.

$111M for Kinéis – Building a constellation of 25 nanosatellites, 20 ground stations, the launch of the satellites and the international expansion of Kinéis.

AST & Science ($110M),
Astra ($100M),
Astranis ($90M, including $50M of debt financing) and
ABL Space Systems ($47.5M).

In 2019, there was $5.7 billion invested into space companies globally.

In July, $500 million was invested by the UK government into Oneweb. Oneweb is a competitor to SpaceX Starlink. Oneweb had to file for bankrupcy protection.

Britain paid $500 million for a 45 percent stake in OneWeb. Bharti Airtel, a telecom company based in India with more than 400 million subscribers, took a 45 percent stake, and other investors may be brought in.

OneWeb wants to put satellites 750 miles above the Earth. This is higher than the 214-550 mile altitude for SpaceX Starlink. Most SpaceX satellites are currently going to 340 mile altitude. In May, OneWeb asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to launch as many as 48,000 satellites.

Oneweb had previously raised US$500 million in 2015 and US$1 billion investment of SoftBank in 2016 and US$200 million before 20165. OneWeb had raised to US$1.7 billion by 2017. On 18 March 2019, OneWeb announced it had secured US$1.25 billion in funding following a successful first launch. Thus OneWeb was at about $3 billion coming into 2020.

OneWeb commenced launches of the OneWeb satellite constellation, a network of more than 650 low Earth orbit satellites, in February 2019 and by March 2020, had launched 74 of the planned 648 satellites in the initial constellation.

SpaceX has launched about 530 Starlink satellites and plans to launch 180 more by the end of August. This should be enough for the commercial service to be started.

SOURCES – Noosphereventures, Financial Times, Wikipedia, OneWeb
Written By Brian Wang. (Brian owns shares of SpaceX)

12 thoughts on “Billions in Space Funding in 2020, Including $1 Billion Oneweb Deal”

  1. Way too little. We need a massive Space Bill, fully fund most of our space projects. Space Projects = Military Budget

  2. TL;DR: Protectionism against commercial ventures capable of competing with American interests. In 1968 France & Germany were shocked when NASA agreed to launch their Symphonie satellite as long as they didn’t use it commercially.

    SP-4217 Beyond the Ionosphere

    Chapter 11

    U.S.-European Relations and the Decision to Build Ariane, the European Launch Vehicle.

    by Lorenza Sebesta

  3. The EU will never forget the reason why they were forced to start Arianespace,

    Well why was that then? Wikipedia has it as a purely commercial decision.

  4. OneWeb still might get burned if they don’t meet the launch targets in their ITU/FCC filings though…

  5. You cant be too dependent on anyone these days.

    The usual suspects think the EU should give up Arianespace and fly SpaceX. The EU will never forget the reason why they were forced to start Arianespace, and it was a boon to the commercial market as well.

    Your “friends” are usually in a better position to harm you than your enemies.

  6. There was some controversy last month over the purchase, they might have possibly purchased the wrong kind of satellites. They’re trying to avoid building their own since they’re pulling out of the EU’s joint venture.

  7. So the thinking is that the UK is planning for a future where the USA is opposed to UK military actions?
    That’s… unexpected.

  8. Elon needs cash cow and he will deliver more good things. Spledid idea was to introduce new satellite designs, so you can stack 60 of them on 1 falcon rocket.

  9. Yes, that’s an strategic investment for the UK government, to communicate with their military and government assets across the globe. Instead of making your own constellation, buy one already launched.

    Not sure if it’s a replacement for GPS, though, but at least it’s for ensuring global outreach without depending on other nations willingness.

  10. I understand that the UK government spent the big money to get their own GPS system started with the ompany Oneweb, a move related to brexit.

  11. Comm sats are things that collect solar light, convert it into energy, and microwave beam that energy to Earth. Space Solar does the same thing, but with bigger antennae, so ALL the energy is collected. Otherwise, very old tech.

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