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Astroscale Brings Total Capital Raised to U.S. $191 Million, Closing Series E Funding Round
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Oct 15, 2020

Senior officials from government and industry have been increasingly expressing concerns over the growing dangers of space debris to assets in orbit. Recently, near misses of space debris with the International Space Station and multiple conjunction warnings for both active and defunct satellites have spurred more concerted international action to overcome the issue.

Astroscale Holdings Inc. ("Astroscale"), the market-leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, has closed its Series E round with additional funding of U.S. $51 million from a group of investors led by aSTART Co., Ltd. ("aSTART"). This latest round brings the total investment raised to U.S. $191 million and makes Astroscale the most funded on-orbit services and logistics company globally and most funded space venture in Japan.

The significant investment raised since its founding in 2013 has allowed Astroscale to establish a global footprint across five countries and grow to over 140 team members. Each of the five global offices are working in concert to achieve the Astroscale mission of safe and sustainable development of space for future generations.

Astroscale Japan is on schedule to ship the pioneering End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission, the world's first demonstration of commercial orbital debris removal. Astroscale U.K. is leading the development of the In-Orbit Servicing Control Centre - National Facility, which will form the basis for satellite servicing mission operations.

Astroscale U.S., and its newly established subsidiary, Astroscale Israel, are focused on satellite servicing research and developing a mission for life extension of geostationary satellites. With the addition of an administrative office in Singapore, Astroscale is uniquely positioned to meet the global challenges of securing orbital sustainability.

"In Astroscale's seven-and-a-half-year history, we have seen a growing awareness of the debris issue and the recognition that protecting space technologies is essential for improving our daily lives and helping to ensure sustainability on Earth," said Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO.

"Our multiple funding rounds are a testament to the power of Astroscale's vision of space sustainability, and this latest series will allow us to continue developing the technologies that will lead the debris removal and on-orbit servicing market."

"Space debris is a serious issue that has the potential to affect our daily lives, the global economy and environmental sustainability," said Kazumasa Watanabe, CEO of aSTART.

"Astroscale is not only leading the market with its unrivaled technology, but is also making a global impact by contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This combination of technology advancement and societal benefit is why aSTART has invested in Astroscale since Series C. We will continue to support Astroscale in developing new on-orbit servicing capabilities which will benefit humankind."

Senior officials from government and industry have been increasingly expressing concerns over the growing dangers of space debris to assets in orbit. Recently, near misses of space debris with the International Space Station and multiple conjunction warnings for both active and defunct satellites have spurred more concerted international action to overcome the issue.

At the same time, independent valuations have estimated that life extension and other on-orbit satellite services will provide significant value to commercial and government operators by repairing or upgrading assets rather than just replacing them.

This latest funding round will allow Astroscale to continue developing technologies, defining business cases and working with policymakers to ensure debris issues are addressed and servicing opportunities for sustainability are realized.

Investors in Astroscale Series E Round:
+ AS aSTART 1 Limited Partnership (aSTART Co., Ltd.)
+ Hulic Co., Ltd.
+ SPARX Space Frontier Fund (SPARX Innovation for Future Co.,Ltd.)

Related Links
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The current state of Space Debris
Paris (ESA) Oct 13, 2020
The number of debris objects, their combined mass, and the total area they take up has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the space age. This is further fuelled by a large number of in-orbit break-ups of spacecraft and rocket stages. On average over the last two decades, 12 accidental 'fragmentations' have occured in space every year - and this trend is unfortunately increasing. While not all satellites currently comply with international guidelines, more and more space actors a ... read more

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