Satellite internet startup OneWeb declares bankruptcy to look for a buyer

COVID-19 pushed the company past the breaking point.

Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP (Engadget)

OneWeb's dreams of satellite internet access have hit a major setback. The startup has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after attempts to get crucial financing fell through. The company said it was "close" to getting support, but the COVID-19 pandemic produced a "financial impact and market turbulence" that cut the deal short. Chapter 11 bankruptcy will let it use debtor-in-possession proceeds to sell the business and keep its existing work going.

The company also alluded to job cuts with references to "remaining employees," but didn't say how many people were losing jobs.

This isn't the end for OneWeb; Chapter 11 is usually used to regroup and get a second chance at life. However, the company clearly in a much more fragile position than it was even a few weeks ago. It has launched 74 satellites so far, but it's unclear how many more you'll see if the company doesn't find a buyer relatively quickly.