SoftBank Group, Hughes invest in British satellite communications firm OneWeb

(Reuters) – Britain’s OneWeb said on Friday that SoftBank Group Corp and Hughes Network Systems LLC had invested in the satellite communications company, bringing its total funding to $1.4 billion.

Founded by entrepreneur Greg Wyler in 2014, OneWeb aims to provide high-speed broadband internet services globally using low earth orbit satellites, taking on a similar offering by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The funding would allow OneWeb to cover the costs for its network of 648 satellites, expected to be ready by the end of 2022.

SoftBank Group, a former investor in OneWeb, had pulled the plug on funding earlier, forcing OneWeb to file for bankruptcy protection in March.

The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November as a consortium comprising the UK government and India’s Bharti Enterprises invested $1 billion in the company and took its ownership.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)