TOKYO, August 4, 2021 (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) announced that it contracted to fund approximately $46 million (USD)[i] from seven investors, including Incubate Fund as the lead investor, for its Series C investment round. This brings ispace’s cumulative total funding to approximately $195.5 million (USD)[ii] including past Series B, Series A and seed investment, as well as its existing and new bank loan financing announced in June 2021.
Incubate Fund is one of Japan’s leading venture capital funds, which has been supporting ispace with investments from the company’s seed stage in 2014 and is deeply committed to supporting the evolution of the next generation of the commercial space industry. Along with Incubate Fund, the funding was joined by the following organizations and an individual who also share ispace’s vision.
Series C Investors
- Incubate Fund
- Innovation Engine New Space Industry Investment Limited Partnership and Innovation Engine POC No.2 Investment Limited Partnership, managed by Innovation Engine, Inc.
- SBI 4+5 Investment LLP and SBI 4+5 Investment LLP No. 2, managed by SBI Investment Co., Ltd.
- Katsunori Sago
- An investment vehicle managed by HiJoJo Partners, Inc.
- AIZAWA Investments Co., Ltd.
- Ariake Secondary Fund II LP, managed by Aizawa Asset Management Co., Ltd.
In preparation for its first lunar mission, which is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2022[iii], last month ispace announced that it is beginning the assembly of its lunar lander flight model at an ArianeGroup facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany. In parallel, ispace will commence its full-fledged development of lunar landers for subsequent missions to establish a high frequency delivery service to the Moon. These new funds from the Series C investment round are planned to be applied toward ispace’s second lunar mission, which is planned to launch in 2023[iv], as well as to increase the size of its lunar lander for its third mission, which is currently planned to launch in 2024[v]. The lander for the third mission is currently being developed in the United States.
■ Comment from Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO of ispace, inc.: “We are very grateful to our investors for supporting ispace to develop a high-frequency lunar transportation platform. We are also honored that our investors share our vision to develop a lunar ecosystem that contributes to a more sustainable world. There are an increasing number of stakeholders entering this ecosystem from the development and investment side. We continue to welcome many new players to create this new industry together.”
ispace, inc. (https://ispace-inc.com/)
ispace is a lunar exploration company with over 150 staff and offices in Japan, Europe and the United States. The company has raised – cumulative total funding of approximately $195.5 million (USD)[vi]. The funding is being used to build small commercial lunar landers, aiming to provide a high-frequency, low-cost delivery service to the Moon. Aspiring to be a gateway for private sector companies to bring their business to the Moon, ispace has also launched a lunar data business concept to support companies with lunar market entry. The company’s first lunar mission is planned for 2022[vii] with a second mission planned for 2023[viii]. On its first mission, ispace’s lander will deliver payloads for the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and three companies that received awards as part of the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) program. The lander for the first mission is currently undergoing final assembly at an ArianeGroup facility in Germany and will launch from the United States on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. ispace is also part of a team led by Draper, which was selected by NASA to compete in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Program. Both ispace, inc., and ispace EU were awarded contracts to collect and transfer ownership of lunar regolith to NASA, and ispace EU was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be part of the Science Team for PROSPECT, a program which seeks to extract water on the Moon.
[i] Total contracted amount as of July 2021, part of which is scheduled to be credited from or after August 2021: actual figure in original currency is JPY 5.07 billion; JPY to USD conversion provided for reference purposes, using FX rate for July 2021.
[ii] Actual figure is JPY 21.3 billion; JPY to USD conversion provided for reference purposes, using the applicable FX rates as of the time of each funding.
[iii] Planned as of August 2021.
[iv] Planned as of August 2021.
[v] Planned as of August 2021.
[vi] Actual figure is JPY 21.3 billion; JPY to USD conversion provided for familiarity, using the applicable FX rates as of the time of each funding.
[vii] Planned as of August 2021.
[viii] Planned as of August 2021.