Mangata Networks gets funds for Scottish satellite manufacturing hub

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TAMPA, Fla. — Mangata Networks, the U.S.-based startup founded by a former OneWeb executive, said Dec. 5 it signed a $100 million financing deal to build a manufacturing facility in Scotland for its multi-orbit broadband constellation.

The facility at Prestwick International Aerospace Park, located in the Ayrshire region near Glasgow, will also serve as Mangata’s engineering and operations hub as it aims to start deploying nearly 800 broadband satellites from late 2025.

Once up to speed, Phoenix, Arizona-based Mangata said the facility could produce and test 24 satellites up to 1,500 kilograms every three months.

These satellites would be spread across medium Earth orbit (MEO) and highly elliptical orbits (HEO) to provide high-speed internet services to aviation, cellular backhaul, and other connectivity markets.

Mangata CEO Brian Holz said customers have already reserved nearly all the capacity on the operator’s initial 32 satellites, representing more than 1.5 terabits per second of capacity.

Holz is a former vice president of space systems at OneWeb and CEO of OneWeb Satellites, the joint venture the low Earth orbit broadband operator shares with Airbus to build its satellites.

The Scottish facility’s construction is being funded under a 15-year lease-back contract that gives Mangata the right to buy out its property investors at any time. 

South Ayrshire Council is investing 29.2 million British pounds ($36 million) in the project through the government-backed Ayrshire Growth Deal fund.

Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, said it has invested 54 million British pounds to construct the hub, including a $3 million investment made in Mangata’s $33 million series A investment round in January.

In March, Scottish Enterprise also announced it had awarded Mangata 3.6 million British pounds in research and development grant funding.

According to Mangata, its hub will create up to 575 mainly highly paid, highly skilled technical engineering jobs in Scotland over the “coming few years.”

Adrian Gillespie, Scottish Enterprise’s CEO, said: “Not only will it bring hundreds of new quality jobs for the people of Scotland, but it will be a catalyst for a new supply chain, opening up opportunities and partnerships both domestically and internationally.”

Prestwick is also home to Prestwick Spaceport, which is gearing up to facilitate horizontal air-launches of satellites from 2024.