Japan’s Gitai, developing robots replacing astronauts, secures $4.1M series A round

6th prototype robot
Image credit: Gitai

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Gitai, the Japanese telexistance robotics startup for the space industry, announced on Tuesday that it has secured $4.1 million US in a series A round. The round is led by Spiral Ventures Japan with participation from DBJ Capital (the investment arm of the Japanese government-backed Development Bank of Japan), Japanese electric power development company J-Power, 500 Startups Japan (now known as Coral Capital).

Among these investors, 500 Startups Japan follows their previous investment in the latter’s seed round (securing $1.25 million US) back in 2017. This brings the startup’s total funding to date up to over 600 million yen (over $5.6 million US) but it may reach up to 1 billion yen (about $9.4 million) by additional funding within this year since the current round is not yet closed.

Gitai plans to use the funding to develop autonomous space robots which may replace astronauts in their missions as well as launching a vehicle carrying robots to the International Space Station which is scheduled in late 2020.

Gitai was initially focused on the telexistence technology which connects an operator and a robot in two different locations, but later shifted its primary business to serving the space industry back in 2017. Earlier this year, the company announced it has appointed Yuto Nakanishi as COO. Nakanishi is a humanoid scientist/engineer and former CEO of Schaft, the Japanese robotics startup acquired by Google.