WildBlue Raises $50M

WildBlue Communications said Wednesday that it has completed a $50 million equity financing to help fund increased customer service initiatives.

The financing round was led by Liberty Media, Intelsat, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and private equity giant Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

In a statement, WildBlue said the proceeds will fund its recently launched customer equipment leasing program and will allow the company to expand its workforce in customer care and field service operations.

“This equity investment underscores our major shareholders’ strong support for WildBlue's vision and it enables us to continue and expand our commitment to delivering a superior customer experience,” said WildBlue CEO David Leonard in a statement. “A broadband Internet connection is an essential tool for participating fully in the information economy, and in these challenging economic times, rural residents are looking for a more affordable solution.”

WildBlue, which provides high-speed Internet service via satellite to rural areas, estimates that there are over 11 million households throughout the United States where DSL or cable broadband services are not available and that over 7 million of these households are still accessing the Internet through a traditional dial-up connection.