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Virgin Orbit Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy The satellite launch company slashed an estimated 90% of its workforce weeks ago.

By Emily Rella

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Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by Richard Branson, has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to secure funding.

"We believe that the Chapter 11 process represents the best path forward to identify and finalize an efficient and value-maximizing sale," Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit CEO, said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

The company estimated its assets to be roughly $243 million with $153.5 million of debt, the filing stated.

Original story below.

It looks like business is not cleared for landing at Virgin Orbit as the satellite launch company has reportedly laid off 90% of its staff after putting a majority of employees on furlough just weeks ago.

During an all-hands company meeting, CEO Dan Hart told employees that the company couldn't secure the funding it sought to continue as operational.

"Virgin Orbit is initiating a company-wide operational pause, effective March 16, 2023, and anticipates providing an update on go-forward operations in the coming weeks," the company said earlier this month, confirming this week that the operational pause would continue "for the foreseeable future."

Related: Virgin Orbit Shares Plummet As Historic Launch Fails Due to 'Anomaly'

It's estimated the company will slash around 90% of its total workforce.

According to CNBC, Hart had been updating employees regarding the company's financial standings via email, leading employees to believe that there's light at the end of the tunnel after citing promising conversations with interested investors.

Per the SEC filing on behalf of Virgin Orbit that beget the near-company-wide furlough that began on March 15, Virgin Orbit put itself on an operational pause "in order to conserve capital" while seeking "potential funding sources."

Employees that were placed on furlough were not paid, though they were given the option to cash out on their PTO days.

Virgin Orbit is the satellite launching company owned by Richard Branson, which is different from the Virgin Group's space exploration company Virgin Galactic.

As of Friday afternoon, Virgin Orbit was down 34.8% in a 24-hour period.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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