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Virgin Orbit extends pause in operations, having failed to get new financing

Virgin Orbit has extended its worker furlough and pause in operations now that a $200 million deal with a Texas investor has fallen through.

Reuters reported last week that Texas-based Matthew Brown had been in talks to invest $200 million in the company. Those talks have collapsed, said two people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified. Brown declined to comment on Monday.

Virgin Orbit, teetering on bankruptcy after a January rocket failure and struggles to raise funds, furloughed nearly all its 750 employees on March 15 while it sought a financial lifeline that would allow it to focus on upgrading its launch business.

This is very bad news for the company, because it indicates that there might not be a financial savior for it.

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  • pzatchok

    750 employees?
    And it can not make consistent launches?

    Sounds like a company that has been used as a tax right off for the Virgin group and any investors.

    This new investor more than likely got a look at the books and figured it out.
    There is no chance at all this company will ever make money.
    I bet the British government even figured it out. Maybe that is why they were dragging their feet.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Not looking good.

    In some ways kind of sad. I thought the air launch option to be fascinating.
    I also wonder if it goes belly up, will Branson let it all go, meaning both VO and VG.

  • Col Beausabre

    My impression is that Branson has long since bailed, after doing a pump and dump fraud

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “Sounds like a company that has been used as a tax right off for the Virgin group and any investors.

    Virgin Orbit is the company that the British had delayed a launch license for half a year. In that time, the company was unable to launch any other payloads, so it was prevented from revenue operations by a pack of bureaucrats who do not care whether or not they put their wards out of business.

    The irony is that we had expected Virgin Galactic to go out of business, as they have yet to perform any revenue flights. Virgin Orbit was expected to survive, as its more traditional business model had been proved by other companies as viable. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the underfunded company of the pair.

    Virgin Orbit had shown much promise and a service that differed from the others. It is too bad that governments are unwilling to serve their people and are only willing to serve themselves. What the heck are we paying taxes and fees for, anyway?

  • pzatchok

    And there are other companies doing more with less, both in manpower and money. There are also companies doing the same with less.

    The 6 month delay meant nothing to the over all health of the company.
    Lets just say that they needed to make monthly launches to break even and weekly launches to pull a profit. Are they at that point yet? No they are years away from pulling a profit. All a launch would have done is bring in more investors who would loose money over the next 5 years,

    The real business model was to just draw in more investors launches were just the bait.

  • Edward

    You described every launch company. In fact, you described every startup company. You even described stalwart companies. It is quite a cynical view on free market capitalism.

    It is amazing how many people think that companies are made of cash, and that six months without revenue means nothing to the overall health of any company. You should probably run a company sometime and see how easy it is to make payroll every week. Sometimes the choice is between making payroll or getting a 2% discount by paying a vender in a timely manner. Which would you choose? 2% ten, net 30. No one would need that deal if they were flush with cash, and the vendor wouldn’t offer that deal if he didn’t need cash sooner rather than later.

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