Singapore's Astroscale Raises $30 Million Funding to Delete Space Junk

The new funding brings the total raised by the company to date to $132 million

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Space startups are quite literally redefining the concept of shooting for the stars. Gone are the days when the sector was only restricted to the government’s role. Today,  entrepreneurs are changing the space landscape for good. Tokyo-based Astroscale has also kicked off a  space race by addressing the business of orbital debris mitigation. Headquartered in Singapore, the startup is developing innovative and scalable solutions for satellite end-of-life and active debris removal services to mitigate the growing and hazardous buildup of debris in space. Astroscale recently raised an additional $30 million funding and will open an office in the United States to lead new business opportunities.

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Securing Funding

At the 35th Space Symposium the company announced that it added $30 million to an earlier $50 million Series D round raised in October 2018. Several Japanese funds participated in the round, including some who previously invested in Astroscale. The new funding brings the total raised by the company to date to $132 million.

“This is an exciting time for Astroscale and marks a significant milestone for the company, its employees and future customers who will all benefit from the opportunities this expansion presents. The United States has been active in addressing issues related to space traffic management and the mitigation of orbital debris. An office in the United States will allow us to work closely with policy makers and business leaders to devise a sustainable solution for this global issue,” said Nobu Okada, founder and chief executive officer, Astroscale.

The US Expansion

The US office will focus on business development and technology growth, and will be led by Ron Lopez as Managing Director. Most recently, Lopez led the Defense & Space Asia Pacific sales team at Honeywell Aerospace, helping the company achieve significant sales growth and expansion into new markets.

“Astroscale US will be an active part of Colorado’s vibrant space economy. We are eager to work within this diverse and growing ecosystem to fuel Astroscale’s global growth and contribute to the success of the region,” said Lopez. Astroscale is currently developing its second mission, ELSA-d, a technology demonstration for end of-life services and pursuing complementary missions with potential customers.

Founded in 2013 by a single individual, Astroscale has grown into an organization of nearly 60 people and is spread across four countries, with most of the team located at an R&D and manufacturing office in Tokyo, which has existed since 2015. Overall, its management team brings decades of experience in the technical, business, policy and fundraising aspects of the aerospace industry. In addition to developing the technology necessary for debris removal, Astroscale is an active participant in the formulation of global best practices and standards that will facilitate future in-orbit servicing activities. By addressing both technical and policy aspects, the company is leading the creation of the business case for orbital debris removal.

 
Nidhi Singh

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