The Series F round brings its total capital raised to $300m and the company says the latest investment will accelerate its on-orbit services technology development and enable it to take on more employees.
The round was led by THE FUND Limited Partnership in Japan, with participation from investors including the Japan Growth Capital Investment Corporation, DNCA Invest, AXA Life Insurance, Innovation Engine New Space Investment Limited Partnership, Solaris ESG Master Fund and Prelude Structured Alternatives Master Fund.
“Since Astroscale’s inception in 2013, we have dedicated ourselves to solving the technological, economic and policy aspects of satellite servicing to build a sustainable infrastructure for a thriving space ecosystem,” said Nobu Okada, Founder & CEO of Astroscale. “This latest round of funding will dramatically accelerate our ability to make on-orbit servicing routine by 2030.”
“It also shows that investors around the world, acknowledge the tremendous potential in the emerging on-orbit servicing market, which will revolutionize the future of space.”
Among those investing was Seraphim Space Investment Trust. The London-based fund, “Seraphim Space”, which is focused on SpaceTech, made a new $12.5m investment.
Highlighting the increasing launch of satellites, it noted this could lead to further proliferation of artificial debris, posing a threat to the sustainability of commercial operations in space.
“The long-term sustainable health of the space sector is becoming ever more important with tens of thousands of satellite launches planned in the coming years,” said Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim Space (Manager) LLP. “Astroscale is already the category leader in the global on-orbit servicing market. Its founder and CEO Nobu Okada is credited worldwide as a key figure in galvanising the space industry into action. The ball is now firmly rolling on regulation and self-regulation to protect the space environment.”
“We believe that now is the optimum time to invest into this emerging market that will be worth $billions over the coming decades.”
Among the missions that the company is involved with is the “End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration” (ELSA-d) mission.
This successfully completed its first technical demonstration in orbit in August (pictured), and Astroscale is preparing for the “capture without tumbling” phase, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
In Japan, the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) spacecraft – which was selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for Phase I of its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project – will enter the assembly phase in early 2022, says the company.
In the United Kingdom, the Astroscale team was recently chosen to study the removal of two defunct satellites by the UK Space Agency, and it says it is maturing an End-of-Life technology and moving towards a commercial service offering by 2024.
See also: Astroscale and New Zealand partner on space sustainability