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Astroscale’s Latest Funding Round Brings Investment to Nearly $200M 

By Rachel Jewett | October 13, 2020

Phase 1 of the JAXA debris removal project will focus on observation. Photo: Astroscale

Astroscale Holdings Inc. has closed its Series E funding round with additional funding of $51 million. This round puts Astroscale’s total investment raised at $191 million, making it the most-funded on-orbit services company, and the highest funded Japanese space startup. 

“In Astroscale’s seven-and-a-half-year history, we have seen a growing awareness of the debris issue and the recognition that protecting space technologies is essential for improving our daily lives and helping to ensure sustainability on Earth,” said founder and CEO Nobu Okada. “Our multiple funding rounds are a testament to the power of Astroscale’s vision of space sustainability, and this latest series will allow us to continue developing the technologies that will lead the debris removal and on-orbit servicing market.”

The round was led by aSTART Co., Ltd., and also includes Hulic Co., Ltd.; I-NET Corp.; Shimizu Corporation; and SPARX Space Frontier Fund. The company said this funding round will allow Astroscale to continue developing technologies, defining business cases and working with policymakers. 

In a recent interview with Via Satellite, Okada said Astroscale was able to finish the funding round on target, but said that it was tough amid the pandemic.  

“COVID-19 impacts a lot of the investment community. Financial investors are shifting toward a return in a shorter period. The institutional investors, their businesses [have been] affected a lot, so they’re worried,” he said. “To have fundraising for a space company in Japan right now, it’s really tough. Everybody is facing this issue.” 

An in-depth look at Japan’s space startup market is soon to be published in Via Satellite’s November edition.