O3b Networks, a satellite provider operating a satellite network for telecommunications companies, internet service providers, corporations and governments in emerging markets which counts Africa-focused investor Satya Capital and the Development Bank of South Africa among its backers has announced it has raised an additional $460 million financing package to support its growth plans.
As well as Satya Capital and Development Bank of South Africa, a number of other investors participated in the financing including SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Sofina and Luxempart.
The capital from the financing round will be used to expand the total number of satellites in O3b’s constellation from 12 to 20 in response to increasing market demand for high throughput, high performance connectivity. O3b stands for the “Other 3 billion” referring to the people who do not have high speed access to the internet today.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for O3b and its customers. Our constellation is highly scalable and can be grown in direct response to market demand,” commented O3b’s CEO, Steve Collar. “In only a little over a year from our full commercial launch, we can already see the need for substantially more capacity in orbit to serve our customers.”
O3b, which is headquartered in St. Helier, Jersey, began full commercial operations in September 2014 and now supports connectivity for more than 40 customers worldwide, 50% of whom have already upgraded their service commitments to O3b during the first year of commercial operation.