Starry Astro

Fixed wireless provider Starry has learned from mistakes of the past and is on a path to being free cash flow positive some time next year, said Starry CEO Alex Moulle-Berteaux at an investor event in December. “And we will look at regrowth from there,” he added.

Furthermore, the company has enough capital to reach profitability, noted Moulle-Berteaux, Starry co-founder who took over as Starry CEO when the company emerged from bankruptcy in June.

The company filed for Chapter 11 in March when it was unable to obtain additional capital to fuel its growth plan. The company had made a mistake in only raising half of the capital it needed, and at the time of the Chapter 11 filing, the market was not funding companies that were pre-profitability, Moulle-Berteaux explained.

Another concern was that the company had been investing heavily in R&D. The company’s secret sauce is fixed wireless equipment developed in house. The equipment operates in the millimeter wave band to support a business model based on providing fiber-like speeds to multi-dwelling units.

The company lost over two thirds of its work force in the bankruptcy. It exited one of the markets it had entered and canceled plans to add any additional markets for now, instead concentrating on a handful of core markets.

“We’re really focused on . . . driving to profitability in the markets that we’re in. We’re not expanding our network,” Moulle-Berteaux explained.

The company continues to invest in technology, but according to Moulle-Berteaux, that investment will be winding down.

He anticipates that once the company demonstrates that the new approach is working, “it should be easy to get capital for growth again.”

The company is seeing new competition from mobile provider fixed wireless offerings but is not losing many customers to those companies; instead, the company is seeing pricing pressure, Moulle-Berteaux said.

Starry’s technology investment could pay off if the company sells its equipment to other incumbent local exchange carriers looking for a quick way to deliver high-speed services in areas that do not yet have fiber.

The company has seen “inbound interest” in that, said Moulle-Berteaux.

Moulle-Berteaux made his comments at the New Street Research/BCG Future Series Conference: The Future of Wireless, AI and Convergence.

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