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Japanese SpaceTech startup Warpspace raises USD $3 Million

Artists impression of Warpspace relay satellite; Credits: Warpspace

Warpspace, the Japanese spacetech startup developing an inter-satellite data relay network using optical modules, announced the additional fund raising and has reached $3 M in total. The additional fund is led by a VC operated by the biggest Japanese bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. At the same time, Warpspace’s project “WarpHub InterSat” is awarded with Supporting Industry subsidy led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This is the final fundraise in seed round to prepare for a larger fund procurement scheduled at the end of the year. The funds will be used to accelerate further ongoing development of optical relay satellites, which are the core technology of our service planned for launch in 2022

Fundraising

Warpspace has been working on the service, named “WarpHub InterSat”, which is presented to be the world’s first optical telecommunication infrastructure targeting the LEO satellite operators. Warpaspace’s Mission, “Lead the frontier era of space with our CubeSat technology”, describes the motivation for the project.

In order to realize “WarpHub InterSat”, the funds will be used design and develop relay satellite and the demonstration of the optical data relay communication on ground. Warpspace plans to begin the demonstration and validation of the optical telecommunication system this summer.

”WarpHub InterSat”

Warpspace aims to deploy some relay satellites for launch of ”WarpHub InterSat”, the world’s first optical telecommunications infrastructure by end of 2022. This network enables LEO satellite missions, such as earth observation missions to connect with the ground and downlink/uplink data as they need anytime. Warpspace aims to contribute to the sustainable prosperity on Earth by leveraging the Big Data communication. It is included in Space Vision 2030, published by Cabinet Office of Japanese Government in 2017. The Basic Plan on Space Policy of Japanese government claims that the optical communication in outer space will play an important role in the upcoming economy.

Credits: Warpspace

Lately, the needs of remote sensing data captured by LEO satellite (600~1,000km) is highly expanding. The market scale of Warpspace’s main target, earth observation industry is over $20 B, the annual growth rate is 15%. The main consumers of such satellite data have been financial sector and distributions/ logistics industry until recently.

In addition, the primary sector recently has shown an upsurge in their usage of EO data. The market size will keep on expanding in the coming years. On the other hand, the existing telecommunication infrastructure to downlink the satellite data to the ground cannot scale to accommodate such a high traffic. The bottleneck will be completely eliminated by Warpspace’s communication service. This service will enable the LEO satellite operators to downlink the observation data to the ground anytime they want.

“It is a big honor to welcome Mitsubishi UFJ Capital as our investor. It makes us feel secured despite the tough situation caused by pandemic of COVID-19. We shall move forward aiming for the top telecommunication carrier in outer space, seeing this fundraise as our turning point. Today, technologies such as deep learning has been widely adopted due to significant increase in computing power accompanied by generation of big data in recent years. We aim to contribute to the sustainable prosperity of economic activity on earth by leveraging the Big Data communication with our telecommunication infrastructure”. said Satoru Tsunemachi, the CEO of Warpspace.

“As accompany runner, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital would like to support Warpspace, that works on Inter Satellite data relay network which is critical infrastructure for further prosperity of space industry, by sharing knowledge of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. In near future, we hope Warpspace will take a leap forward becoming a competitive global enterprise. It’s time for them to move on to the next step” said Takayuki Shimizu, the Executive Director of Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.

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