CHARLOTTE –SmartSky Networks LLC announced the closing of more than $170 million in a multi-tranche Series B financing, completing the equity funding for the deployment of its nationwide network. With this financing, the company has raised approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in equity capital. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent on the transaction.
SmartSky is deploying the nation’s first 4G LTE-based broadband high speed wireless air-to-ground data network dedicated to providing airborne internet connectivity.
At aviation industry conferences and in private meetings, SmartSky has conducted inflight demonstrations allowing partners and flight departments to experience a level of connectivity fully comparable to the internet experience in their office or home – a first for the industry. The nationwide network rollout is underway, with the vast majority of sites expected to be operational this fall.
“We are pleased to have accomplished the threshold technical and business milestones needed to close on this major capital formation step,” CEO Haynes Griffin said. “As a result, we are moving rapidly with the deployment of our coast-to-coast national network to bring users fast, seamless connectivity in the air.
“A significant number of customers joined our Early Bird waiting list to secure their spot at the head of the line. SmartSky and its partners have already begun the process of obtaining a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) needed for installation on each aircraft model type. We expect Early Bird customer installs of our patented technology to commence next quarter, immediately following completion of the first few STCs.”