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LightSquared Secures $265 Million While Awaiting Its Fate

RESTON, VA.: LightSquared announced today that it has raised $265 million. The capital was drawn from both existing investors as well as new investors whom the company did not identify.

UBS and JP Morgan previously invested $586 million, The Washington Post said. The startup’s creator, Philip Falcone, has invested a reported $3 billion through his firm, Harbinger Ventures. Over the last year, LightSquared has raised over $2.3 billion from investors. TMF Associates of Menlo Park, Calif., put LightSquared’s cash burn rate at more than $100 million per quarter--excluding terrestrial build-out—as of March.

LightSquared said it would use this latest round of funding for general corporate purposes, including investment in its infrastructure. The company aims to build the nation’s first wholesale-only 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network.

“This latest round of financing signals another endorsement by the financial markets of our business model, and LightSquared’s intent to use private capital to build out a new network to meet the growing demand across this entire nation for wireless broadband access,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and CEO of LightSquared.

Notwithstanding the investment, the startup is otherwise at a standstill, awaiting a determination from the Federal Communications Commission regarding interference with global positioning systems. The company last week filed a modified business plan intended to mitigate GPS interference. (See “LightSquared Blasts GPS Receiver Quality.”) It blasted the GPS industry for building receivers that don’t reject adjacent-frequency transmissions, but suggested a gradual roll-out from spectrum nonadjacent to the GPS band, and terrestrial transmissions at lower power levels.

~ Deborah D. McAdams