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iSky picks up $137M

ISky, which promises to roll out affordable broadband services via Ka-band satellite to users regardless of location by late 2001, took another step forward when it closed a second round of financing for $137 million.

Leading the list of investors was EchoStar, which anted up $50 million. Other investors included Liberty Media, TV Guide, TRW and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

"Two of our investors, KPCB and Liberty Media, have significant investments in @Home and the cable-modem infrastructure, so they're clearly saying that there needs to be another broadband platform, which is satellite broadband," says Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Brad Greenwald. "And EchoStar, specifically, is a great partner. We have a distribution deal with them and are working on a single set of equipment that would offer video and high-speed data."

Greenwald believes the new financing gets the company over the hump. "We're in execution mode now. We have about 12 to 18 months to raise the rest of the money, and we're looking at various debt and equity instruments to do that."