What’s the best way to share news that the launch product is going to be delayed a bit? Tying it in as an afterthought in news that the company unlocked $25 million in additional funding definitely helps. For upstart inflight connectivity provider SmartSky the news this week is a mix of good and bad. The company still plans to launch service and the network rollout is progressing. But the slip to Q2 2020 for that launch is unfortunate.
SmartSky has consistently been able to attract capital from top companies because there is strong support for our technology in aviation connectivity. We appreciate the continued confidence from a respected and sophisticated firm such as BlackRock.– Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Chairman and CEO
The additional funds are part of the commitment secured in February 2019. At that time funds managed by the Global Credit Opportunities platform at BlackRock agreed to a $75 million credit facility, with $50 million drawn initially. The extra $25 million disbursement came with contingencies tied to progress on the nationwide network rollout. SmartSky says those milestones were reached in November 2019. In this context the company is meeting at least some of the targets set by outsiders, even if it is missing the rollout target it set for itself.
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The company did not respond to multiple requests for clarification on the cause of the most recent, additional delays.