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D-Orbit Welcomes Marubeni Corporation as Lead Investor in Series C Funding
The industry is watching as D-Orbit and Marubeni Corporation navigate this ambitious undertaking. If successful, this alliance could catalyze a shift in the satellite industry, influencing others to prioritize sustainability and embrace the potential of in-orbit servicing.
D-Orbit Welcomes Marubeni Corporation as Lead Investor in Series C Funding
by Riko Saibo
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Nov 09, 2023

In a significant move within the space logistics sector, D-Orbit, a pioneer in satellite logistics services, has announced a new investment partnership with Marubeni Corporation, the Japanese industrial giant. The collaboration, formalized on November 8, is expected to be a major contributor to the evolution of the industry, with the partnership's completion anticipated by the end of 2023, pending necessary permits and approvals.

The space sector has experienced rapid growth, with projections showing an increase from $270 billion in 2014 to an estimated $546 billion by the end of 2023. The trend indicates the potential to exceed the $1 trillion mark by 2030. This growth is powered by a boom in satellite launches, which in turn escalates the demand for satellite services, including access to and transportation in space.

Marubeni Corporation has taken the lead in D-Orbit's Series C funding round, which is expected to surpass 100 million euros and includes a diverse group of Italian, European, and international investors. This funding is poised to bolster D-Orbit's operations within Italy and expedite their global growth plan, focusing on in-orbit servicing, space cloud computing, and orbital transportation.

The investment will significantly contribute to the vision of a 'circular space economy,' where space debris is not just a challenge but a resource. Future advancements in in-orbit servicing could lead to the collection and recycling of debris and the manufacturing of spacecraft designed for interplanetary missions. These autonomous vehicles are planned to be managed through a space cloud network, a project that D-Orbit is actively progressing.

D-Orbit also reinforces its dedication to space sustainability and environmental responsibility, addressing the increased frequency of satellite launches. The company is expanding its services to include satellite lifespan extension and space debris removal, among other operational support services.

Luca Rossettini, the CEO of D-Orbit, emphasizes the significance of the partnership with Marubeni Corporation, stating, "This collaboration not only propels us toward realizing our ambitious roadmap but also strengthens our commitment to reshaping the space logistics industry."

The synergy between D-Orbit and Marubeni Corporation is expected to extend beyond financial investment. With Marubeni's support, D-Orbit aims to grow and expand its market reach. The partnership also enlarges Marubeni's agency mandate from initially covering Japan to now encompassing Southeast Asia, thereby broadening D-Orbit's operational footprint and enhancing service delivery to satellite operators on a global scale.

Toru Okazaki, Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace and Ship Division at Marubeni Corporation, expresses enthusiasm for the joint endeavor: "This investment underscores our commitment to driving innovation and growth in the satellite industry."

Both BofA Securities and UniCredit have been involved as Joint Placement Agents for this transaction. Legal advisory roles were held by Eversheds Sutherland for D-Orbit, and Gianni and Origoni for Marubeni Corporation.

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