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)

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