A startup trying to bring internet access to even the most remote of places on Earth just raised a whopping $US500 million from investors including Coca-Cola, Virgin Group, Airbus, and others.
OneWeb, which is a London-based company working to build a satellite network for global broadband connectivity, confirmed the gigantic Series A funding raise in a blog post Thursday.
OneWeb, in its press release, says that its purpose is to “develop key technologies to enable affordable broadband for rural and underdeveloped locations.”
The company added that it now plans to building a total of 900 “microsatellites” as part of a joint project with Airbus Defence and Space. It has also acquired 65 commercial rockets (the “largest commercial rocket acquisition”) from both the French company Arianespace and Virgin Galactic.
OneWeb isn’t the only project out there looking into global internet access. Google’s Project Loon, for instance, has been working to build a network connected by giant drifting balloons.
Facebook has also been looking into a similar project with Internet.org, although its been met with dissent due due to concerns with its lack of net neutrality.
Elon Musk too has reportedly been looking into a global satellite internet project.
But now there’s a third company hoping to bridge the connectivity gap and it has half a billion dollars to play around with.
OneWeb says that the plan is to formally launch its network by 2019.