Mitsubishi Estate, Koei Tecmo and INCJ have backed a $50m series D for space junk removal service Astroscale that almost doubled its total funding to $102m.
Singapore-based space debris removal technology developer Astroscale raised $50m on Wednesday in a series D round featuring property developer Mitsubishi Estate and games publisher Koei Tecmo’s Koei Tecmo Capital investment unit.
The round was led by public-private partnership Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and included aStart and Jafco, the latter of which also invested separately through its Jafco SV4 Investment fund.
Mizuho Growth Fund, SBI AI & Blockchain Fund and SMBC Venture Capital, respective vehicles managed by financial services firms Mizuho Bank, SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, filled out the round.
Founded in 2013, Astroscale is developing technology to capture space debris, which poses an increasing risk to spacecraft and satellites, in Earth’s orbit. The company has scheduled a first mission for 2020, when it hopes to demonstrate the efficiency of its technology.
The cash will help Astroscale scale its research and development activities in Japan and expand its ground control centre and engineering, procurement and business development capabilities in the UK. The money will also support the launch of a US subsidiary in 2019.
Astroscale has raised $102m in funding to date, it said. The company previously closed a $25m series C round in July 2017 backed by aviation group ANA Holdings and industrial machine producer OSG Corporation.
The series C also featured Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, the venture capital arm of financial services provider Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, as well as INCJ, Jafco and aStart. The company’s shareholders also include startup hub Mistletoe and assorted angel investors.
Tetsuji Arimori, representative corporate executive officer and executive vice-president of Mitsubishi Estate, said: “Mitsubishi Estate is happy to announce its support of Astroscale as it tries to solve the issue of space debris.
“As the discussion of regulatory frameworks about space development and utilisation are increasing at an unprecedented rate, we see the potential for global collaboration. Space debris is an international issue that could prevent utilisation of space and negatively impact the development of space-related industries.”