Reviving a Dead Space Company
With the spread of COVID-19 and shutdown of the economy, it hasn’t been a great few months to be a startup company.
And OneWeb, a company with the mission to provide high-speed global internet from space, wasn’t safe from its sector’s struggles.
Earlier this year, it was in negotiations for funding that would carry it through commercial launch. But because of the drop in the stock market and economy due to the pandemic, all negotiations were halted.
And then in late March, OneWeb filed for bankruptcy.
Even through bankruptcy, though, the company’s dream never died.
Up to this point, OneWeb had already launched 74 satellites into space — with the end goal of launching 600 satellites total to achieve full global broadband.
The idea is similar to SpaceX’s Starlink…
- Send the satellites into a low orbit to reduce lag.
- Send enough satellites to achieve global internet access.
It seemed to have missed a crucial part of the formula, though… that the company can’t function without funding.
SpaceX was able to raise $36 billion thus far for its space programs. Competitor Blue Origin — owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — got billions of Bezos’ own money in order to get up and running.
Space isn’t cheap.
But there is hope yet for OneWeb. And it comes from two unlikely allies…
New Life to a Failed Startup
Last Friday, the U.K. government and Indian telecom behemoth Bharti Enterprises won the bankruptcy auction to buy the constellation company.
In a $500 million bid, the U.K. now owns 45% of OneWeb while Bharti owns 55%.
The U.K.’s interest in OneWeb is speculated for two reasons…
First, like any nation, they want to roll out super-fast high-speed internet to their citizens. While many in the U.K. have broadband access already, this would be the next step up for many households.
Secondly (and more importantly), the U.K. is set to leave the EU. This means that the government loses access to the EU’s secure signal network known as Galileo.
Investing in OneWeb gives the U.K. access to one the mega-constellations in space, fulfilling the country’s need for high-speed internet just as it’s losing access to Galileo.
The other player in this acquisition is Bharti Enterprises — a gigantic India-based telecom company.
Think of it as India’s version of AT&T.
But while AT&T boasts a customer base of 153 million people, Bharti has 400 million users — more than the population of the United States.
This telecom titan has really one main motivation for buying OneWeb… money.
It’s estimated that half of India’s population has no access to any form of internet access.
That’s almost 700 million people who could be potential Bharti customers through OneWeb.
And what’s to say it’s just looking to service India?
As seen with the graph below, Bharti has customers in 19 different countries. And could use OneWeb’s vast satellite network to bring high-speed internet to even the most isolated parts of the world…
The only unfortunate part is Bharti Enterprises is traded on the India’s National Stock Exchange.
There are several methods to own Bharti stock. But that would be a conversation you would need to have with your broker.
Regardless, this shows the global space race is exploding.
And if you want an easier way to get in, I’ve targeted seven companies I think have huge potential in this space race.
You’ll want to act now before this tech goes online. So don’t hesitate.
To a bright future,