SoftBank Group Corp agreed to invest $1 billion in OneWeb Ltd, a satellite startup aiming to provide internet in rural areas and emerging countries. OneWeb said that Softbank’s $1 billion investment is part of a $1.2 billion fundraising, with the remaining $200 million from OneWeb’s current investors. The latest fundraising round valued the startup at $2.5 billion.
This is SoftBank’s first U.S. investment since its Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son told President-elect Donald Trump that he would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. OneWeb said the fund would be used to build a facility in Florida that will churn out satellites faster and cheaper. SoftBank expected the investment will create almost 3,000 new engineering, manufacturing and support jobs in the U.S.
“Earlier this month I met with President-elect Trump and shared my commitment to investing and creating jobs in the U.S. This is the first step in that commitment,” SoftBank’s Son said in the statement.
OneWeb, founded in 2012, plans to launch more than 640 satellites by the beginning of the next decade to offer faster internet in developing countries at a lower cost. “We look forward to working together as we execute on our mission to build a global knowledge infrastructure that provides affordable broadband to the over four billion people across the globe without internet access.” said Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, executive chairman and chief architect.