ispace raises $89.5M to boost moon landing effort, breaks Japan record for series A funds


See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based ispace, the Japanese startup behind the Hakuto team which is currently taking part in the Google-sponsored Lunar Xprize race, announced today that it has raised 10.15 billion yen (about $89.5 million US) in a series A round. ispace founder and CEO Hakamada is also known for having backed the Xprize-targeting White Label Space effort before the European participants dropped out.

Participating investors in this round are Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), Tokyo Broadcasting Systems Holdings (TSE:9401), Konica Minolta (TSE:4902), Shimizu Corporation (TSE:1803), Suzuki Motor (TSE:7269), Dentsu, Realtech Fund (run by Euglena SMBC Nikko Leave a Nest Capital), KDDI (TSE:9433), Japan Airlines (TSE:9201), Toppan Printing (TSE:7911) and Sparx Group (TSE:8739).

This marks Japan’s biggest funding record for a series A round to date. With this funding, the company aims to mount two moon missions. The first will launch the ispace lander to lunar orbit, in order to study the moon’s surface, in late 2019. The second will put the lander upon the lunar surface to deploy multiple rovers in late 2020.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy