ispace, a Tokyo, Japan-based private lunar exploration company, raised $90.2m in Series A funding.
The funding was joined by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan; Development Bank of Japan; Tokyo Broadcasting System; Konica Minolta; Shimizu; Suzuki Motor; SPARX; Dentsu; Real Tech Fund; KDDI; Japan Airlines; and Toppan Printing.
The company will use the funds to develop a lunar lander and conduct two lunar missions by the end of 2020.
Led by Takeshi Hakamada, Founder & CEO, ispace is planning two lunar missions to orbit around and land on the Moon by 2020. Mission 1, planned for the fourth quarter of 2019, will inject the lander into the lunar orbit to conduct observation of the lunar surface. Mission 2, planned for the fourth quarter of 2020, will see the lander attempt a soft landing on the Moon, deploying multiple rovers to explore and map the surface.
The company currently operates in Japan, Luxembourg and the USA, and signed partnerships with JAXA and the government of Luxembourg. It also manages team HAKUTO, the sole Japanese team to participate in the Google Lunar XPRIZE.