Internet Service Provider Starry Looks To Go Public In Deal Valued At $1.66B

The internet service provider says it wants to expand its network to 25 million households by 2026.


Starry, a wireless internet provider founded by tech entrepreneur Chet Kanojia, said it plans to go public via the use of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that would give it an enterprise value of $1.66 billion.

The company, with offices in Boston and New York, said the firm--called FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corp., backed by New York-based venture firm FirstMark Capital--will merge with Starry to allow the public market debut.

Starry, which uses technology to wirelessly beam Gigabit-speed internet from towers and rooftops to customers’ homes at a lower price than traditional broadband, will continue to be led by Kanojia as CEO, according to the company.

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As part of the SPAC deal, Starry will be infused with $452 million in cash, including $130 million from investors ArrowMark Partners, Atreides Management, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Tiger Global Management and affiliates of FirstMark Capital, “to fund its growth and the deployment of its services across the United States, and to retire Starry’s existing debt,” according to the company.

Starry currently offers internet services in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Denver and Columbus, Ohio--covering more than 4.7 million households. The company, which said it expects to record revenue of $22 million in 2021, said it hopes to expand its network with a projected 1.4 million subscribers and $1.1 billion in revenue by 2026.

Kanojia faced significant legal headwinds when in 2012 he formed Aereo, a startup that allowed subscribers to view over-the-air television on internet-connected devices. Aereo, which raised nearly $100 million in venture funding, was forced to shut down its service in 2014 after the U.S. Supreme Court said the startup was illegally streaming content from broadcasters.

Upon completion of the merger, the new company will continue to operate as Starry and will be listed “on a national exchange” under the ticker symbol “STRY.”