Singaporean New Space debris removal company Astroscale has announced that it has raised U.S.$50 million from investors led by INCJ Ltd., as well as from SBI Investment Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. This fourth round of funding means that the company has now raised U.S.$102 million in total since its founding in 2013.
Astroscale focuses on developing a space debris removal service to secure long-term spaceflight safety. Founded in 2013, the company has grown to nearly 60 employees located across four countries, with most of the team located at a research and development and manufacturing office in Tokyo.
“The recognition of how to address the threat of space debris has changed drastically in the five years since Astroscale was founded,” Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO said. “Government officials and the private sector are now ready to support debris removal as a business. This latest round of funding represents a strong vote of confidence in Astroscale’s mission and will allow us to accelerate our position as the global market-leader in the field of debris removal.”
The capital raised in this round will allow Astroscale to work toward its current goals, including boosting the productivity of its development and design work in Japan, upgrading and expanding ground control center operations as well as engineering, procurement and business development capabilities in the UK, and making plans for the establishment of an entity in the U.S. in 2019.
“INCJ acknowledges the significant role that Astroscale plays as driver of technology development and a catalyst to … address the issue of space debris,” said Mikihide Katsumata, President and COO of INCJ. “INCJ continues to support Astroscale and we hope they will find a solution to the threat of space debris, which is a potential bottleneck to the development of a vibrant space industry.”
“After evaluating Astroscale’s innovative technology and ability to solve a variety of business challenges, SGI Group proudly joins as a shareholder,” said Katsuya Kawashima, Director and President of SBI. “… we now hope to contribute to Astroscale’s business success as it pursues a mission to shape the space industry.”
“Mitsubishi Estate is happy to announce its support of Astroscale as it tries to solve the issue of space debris,” said Tetsuji Arimori, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Estate. “As the discussion of regulatory frameworks about space development and utilization are increasing at an unprecedented rate, we see the potential for global collaboration. Space debris is an international issue that could prevent utilization of space and negatively impact the development of space-related industries.”