RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — SmartSky Networks, an RTP-based in-flight internet provider, had raised $104 million in debt and private equity.
The funding includes $75 million in debt commitments from funds managed by the Global Credit team at BlackRock and equity investments by private equity firms Tiger Infrastructure, WP Global, Platform Partners, and Meritage Investors.
SmartSky intended to use the fund in the on-going rollout of SmartSky’s nationwide air-to-ground network.
The company also has offices in Charlotte and Virginia,
SmartSky had raised $17.4 million in private equity last November. With this new round of financing, the company had already raised almost $350 million in funding to date.
“This investment represents an expression of confidence in SmartSky by these sophisticated investors, including some of the most highly regarded institutions in the world,” said SmartSky CEO Haynes Griffin in a statement.
Last week, JetSuiteX, a rapidly growing regional air carrier, announced that it had become the first carrier to offer SmartSky’s airborne connectivity services.
Founded in 2011, SmartSky specializes in providing high-speed wireless internet to business and commercial airlines through cell phone towers.
In 2016, SmartSky, previously Jetpool Ventures, entered into a strategic partnership with Avidyne Corp, a company specializing in computer network and safety systems for aircraft.
Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the SmartSky 4G LTE system. SmartSky claims the technology will make in-flight internet faster while lowering costs.
This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism