Row 44 gains fresh funds as it fits Southwest with broadband

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Row 44, the in-flight connectivity provider that is fitting Ku-band satellite-based broadband systems to Southwest Airlines' entire fleet, has completed another round of funding to support the retrofit programme and its own global expansion.

The California-based firm in a statement says it has closed its 'Series B' funding round, raising $37 million in new equity investment. This latest funding includes participation by two new institutional investors along with PAR Capital Management, which previously led Row 44's $21 million 'Series A' investment round.

Additional investment came from former Continental Airlines chairman and CEO Larry Kellner, who now works as president of Emerald Creek Group.

Specific financial details have not been disclosed.

"This investment gives Row 44 the operating capital to continue executing on our North American launch with the Southwest Airlines fleet and our aggressive network build-out, enabling us to support airline customers across the globe," says Row 44 CEO John Guidon.

"In this difficult funding environment, Row 44 is pleased our current and new investors recognize both Row 44's commitment to efficient use of capital as well as the tremendous opportunity our in-flight broadband system represents for airlines - and their shareholders - around the world."

Row 44 customers also include European operator Norwegian and South African carrier Mango.