Ispace, a Tokyo, Japan-based space startup, raised $28m in Series B funding.
The round, which brought startup’s total funding to date to $125m, was led by IF SPV 1st Investment Partnership (through Incubate Fund), with participation from Space Frontier Fund, Takasago Thermal Engineering Co. and Mitsui Sumitomo.
The company intends to use the funds to continue to develop its commercial lander ahead of planned launches in 2022 and 2023.
Led by founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada, ispace is developing a small commercial lunar lander and miniature lunar rovers to delivery customer payloads to the Moon and explore the lunar surface.
In conjunction with its Series B investment announcement, the company also launched a new lunar data business concept, labeled “Blueprint Moon,” a planned data-centric platform through which the company aims to support customers with lunar market entry. ispace outlined its vision to collect lunar data (i.e., imaging, environmental data, telemetry, resources information, etc.) and apply it to tools and applications, which can be provided as a service to potential customers (i.e., government space agencies, universities, research institutions, and private companies) for mission planning and lunar surface development. The company has already begun to develop tools using publicly available data from government space agencies as a basis for this platform, which can be enriched with data from ispace’s future missions, starting with its first mission.
ispace has over 100 staff and operations in Japan, the United States, and Europe, and has signed partnerships with JAXA and the Government of Luxembourg.