Anuvu was rescued from bankruptcy in March, and investors have put $50 million behind initiatives for the company to launch its very own constellation of the small geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites. The funds will go for the very first two satellites Anuvu ordered from Astranis in July as part of an eight-satellite constellation, expanding on a business that presently leases capacity from the other operators to deliver Wi-Fi on planes, boats, and remote spots throughout the world.
The San Francisco-based startup Astranis’ one-meter-cubed satellites have software-defined radios which can be reprogrammed in orbit. Anuvu would be capable of adapting its service as the mobility markets confront uncertainty due to a pandemic, which contributed to the company’s bankruptcy in 2020 July. Anuvu, formerly identified as Global Eagle, is based in Los Angeles and aims to launch its very first two digital payload spacecraft in early 2023 to serve the Caribbean and North America. The remaining 6 satellites are still being considered by the company.
“Additional satellites will focus on offering high-speed, dependable connectivity to worldwide mobility markets based on our clients’ geographic demands,” Mike Pigott, Anuvu’s executive vice president in charge of connectivity, stated. Astranis owns and runs the spacecraft it builds, leasing capacity to customers on long-term lease agreements. Arcturus, the company’s first commercial satellite, is set to deploy in early 2022 for Pacific Dataport Inc., a US-based telco (PDI).
Anuvu now leases capacity on hundreds of GEO satellites and plans to do so as it builds a constellation via Astranis as a portion of a multi-orbit strategy that is going to see it lease bandwidth from the Lightspeed network developed by Telesat in Canada in 2024. “The strong confidence we have had from our investor base in management and strategy team,” Pigott said of the $50 million fundraising pledge from current backers Apollo Capital Management, Sound Point Capital, and Arbour Lane Capital Management.
Despite a new round of the COVID-19 disease travel limitations imposed globally in recent days in response to the Omicron variant’s appearance, he said the firm is hopeful about the mobility markets’ return to growth. Anuvu has also received board approval for additional equity, which will be used to broaden its small GEO constellation strategies.
“Mobility markets are reviving in a big way,” Pigott said, “and we see a persuasive opportunity to grow our market share.” “In terms of capital, the financial trajectory is strong, so we will only seek outside capital when absolutely necessary.” Anuvu’s lenders took ownership of the firm earlier this year in order to get it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They put up around $218 million as part of a debt restructuring deal that reduced the company’s near-$1.1 billion debt load by about half.