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LeoSat Folds After Failing to Find Required Funding

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 14, 2019
Filed under , , , ,

SpaceNews reports that LeoSat, a company that planned to deliver high-speed Internet using as many as 108 satellites, has folded due to lack of investment.

Mark Rigolle, CEO of LeoSat, told SpaceNews Nov. 13 that the company laid off all 13 employees — himself included — in August after its earlier investors decided not to fund the company any longer. 

LeoSat was anticipating that Spanish satellite operator Hispasat and Sky Perfect Jsat of Japan would complete LeoSat’s $50 million Series A after each made initial investments — Jsat in 2017, Hispasat in 2018 — but neither did. 

Rigolle said management changes at both companies this year prompted a reversal of their previous intent to invest further in the low-Earth-orbit broadband venture within months of each other, if not less. 

“I couldn’t have dreamt up a worse scenario,” Rigolle said. “This is like SoftBank suddenly saying to OneWeb ‘you’re not getting any more money,’ or Jeff Bezos saying in two years time, ‘no, bad idea, I’m not funding [Kuiper] anymore. It’s a 180-degree turn.”

One response to “LeoSat Folds After Failing to Find Required Funding”

  1. schmoe says:

    If erstwhile LEOSat investors JSat Sky Perfect and Hispasat wants a piece of the LEO Internet Constellation market, as of now they got 3 other choices to invest their money:

    – Buy a stake in SpaceX. This will only work if they understand they might not book a realized return for a long time, because SpaceX will only take investors who don’t care about short-term profit and will plow whatever profit they make back into R&D towards Elon Musk’s ultimate goal of humans on Mars.

    – Buy a stake in OneWeb. Oneweb’s current main backer, Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, is under pressure with multiple recent setbacks like WeWork, so Oneweb is looking for more investors. And unlike LEOSat, OneWeb actually has hardware that is going to launch. Don’t know how well Oneweb will hold up in the face of the SpaceX steamroller juggernaut though, launching 60 Starlink satellites at a time on Falcon 9, which is currently the most economical medium-lift launcher in the world. And when Starship starts launching 400 Starlink satellites at a time in a few years, watch out.

    – Form a joint venture with Amazon and buy into Project Kuiper. They better be prepared for the frustration of seeing Kuiper move slower than a snail on sedatives though. 😀

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