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Nara Space Secures $14.5M Series B to Expand Satellite Fleet
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Nara Space Secures $14.5M Series B to Expand Satellite Fleet
by Riko Seibo
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jun 04, 2024

Nara Space Technology (Nara Space), a startup specializing in small satellite manufacturing and data analytics, announced the completion of a $14.5 million (20 billion KRW) Series B funding round. This brings the company's total funding to approximately $24.3 million (33.5 billion KRW) from previous rounds.

The new funding round included three new investors: Samsung Securities, Shinhan Venture Investment, and JB Woori Capital. Six of the seven existing investors, including the Korea Development Bank, T-Investment, POSCO Technology Investment, Hana Ventures, Hi Investment Partners, and BNK Venture Investment, also increased their investments.

With the new capital, Nara Space plans to expand its 'Observer' Earth observation satellite constellation and accelerate the development of its upcoming methane-monitoring satellite under the NarSha Project.

Last November, Nara Space successfully developed and launched Observer-1A, the first South Korean startup to launch a commercial 16U small Earth observation satellite. Launched via SpaceX's Transporter-9 rideshare mission, Observer-1A has been capturing images of major cities worldwide and continues daily observation missions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Jae-Pil Park, CEO of Nara Space, said, "With this positive round of follow-up investments, we plan to focus on launching the Observer-1B twin satellite and further lay the foundations for our satellite mass production line. Our goal is to operate a cluster of 100 small satellites within the next five years to provide real-time global Earth monitoring services across different sensors and wavelengths."

Nara Space is also advancing its efforts in environmental monitoring, AI, and data analytics. Since September 2023, the company has been working on the NarSha Project, South Korea's first methane monitoring microsatellite constellation. The project, developed with Seoul National University (SNU) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), expects its first satellite launch in the second half of 2026.

On May 31st, Nara Space released new Earth observation images captured by Observer-1A in Near-infrared (NIR) red and green wavelengths. This is Observer-1A's second image sample release since January. The images taken over 'Milo Center', a large farm in Texas, USA, show the difference between areas with healthy crop growth and those without. Healthy leaves reflect a lot of near-infrared light, while less grown or diseased leaves reflect more visible light, highlighting these variations.

CEO Park stated, "In the New Space era, it is crucial not only to launch satellites but also to successfully integrate and use this vast amount of satellite data that we're bringing down". He added, "Beyond manufacturing satellites we aim to grow into a company that provides services which, first and foremost, benefit our everyday lives here on Earth."

Nara Space provides satellite data through 'EarthPaper', a cloud-based data analysis platform powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Megazone Cloud South Korea. EarthPaper offers AI data analytics, providing access to both free and high-resolution commercial satellite imagery in near real-time globally. Users can enhance their mapping experience by adding Nara Space's proprietary super-resolution and object detection service layers, enabling more precise and actionable insights across various sectors such as environmental verticals, media, finance, disaster response, or defense and security.

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