British satellite maker OneWeb is preparing to tap investors for another $1bn (£770m) as the cost of its plan to launch hundreds of advanced orbiters into space next year rockets.
City sources said OneWeb, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Airbus, is aiming to raise the sum as it prepares to launch 30 satellites per month from December in what will be the largest launch programme in history.
Around half the money is expected to be stumped up by SoftBank and spread over two years. The raise is expected to be a mix of fresh equity and debt, although the final amount and timeline could still change.
The discussions are underway just six months after a $1.25bn capital injection in March that valued OneWeb at $3.25bn.
The company’s chief financial officer, Tom Whayne, revealed last month that it was in “active discussions on a new round of equity financing from a combination of existing and new investors”.
A company spokesman declined to comment further.
OneWeb, is spending billions on launching a constellation of 650 small satellites to offer world-spanning internet connectivity.
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See highlighted text. I think that SpaceX with the launch of 60 satellites on a single Falcon 9 holds the largest launch claim. SpaceX is planning two launches per month in 2020 of 60 satellites per launch, which beats OneWeb’s 30 per month.