Space BD Raises $9 Million Funding Round
- Fundraising led by all existing shareholders and new Singapore government-affiliated institutional investor
- Adding SpaceX Falcon 9 to expanded launch method offerings and strengthening recruitment & organizational capability
TOKYO — Space BD, a leading Japanese space startup, announces that it has raised a total of 1.04 billion JPY [US $9.1 million] through a third-party allotment of new shares to the existing shareholders Incubate Fund, ANNIVERSAIRE HOLDINGS, SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, and the new shareholder Pavilion Capital, wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, a Singapore government-affiliated investment company.
■ Progress to date and recent developments
Space BD has been engaged in global businesses based on our partnership with JAXA, such as the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo Exposed Facility Utilization Project on the International Space Station (ISS), the Life Science Business utilizing a microgravity environment, and the H-IIA/H3 Launch Vehicle Shared Launch Project following Space BD’s selection as the first commercial service provider for a smallsatellite deployment service.
In addition to expanding our core satellite launch business, Space BD is currently developing businesses to create new applications for space. Our aim is to respond to increasing and diverse demands relevant to space, including demand for regional industrial development, education and human resource development, and technical project management based on our technological capabilities. With our strength in sales and business development based on our technological capabilities, Space BD is striving to achieve our founding mission of “making space a world-leading industry from Japan” by providing a one-stop-shop for business planning and execution from scratch as well as technical support for the issues and objectives that differ from project to project.
■ Focus areas for this fundraising
(1) Expansion of satellite launch services by securing a variety of global launch methods Space BD is expanding the launch options to meet a wide variety of global demand, including a contract signed with SpaceX in November 2021 securing the right to use the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Space BD will continue our efforts to establish a system to provide users with more flexible options that incorporate launch methods overseas as well as those in Japan.
(2) Strengthen human resource recruitment and organizational capabilities, which are key to our competitiveness
Space BD is strengthening our organization by accelerating the hiring and training of business development personnel and engineering personnel for new business development. We are enhancing new business development in expanding areas, such as space-themed projects to connect space and society including education, regional revitalization, and marketing, as well as large-scale projects including deep space development beyond the Moon.
■ Fundraising overview
Amount of funding: 1.04 billion JPY (Capital increase through third-party allotment)
Cumulative total raised including this round: 1.89 billion JPY (Capital increase through third-party allotment: 1.61 billion JPY, Borrowings: 280 million JPY)
– Incubate Fund (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, General Partners: Tohru Akaura, Masahiko Homma, Keisuke Wada, Yusuke Murata, Paul Mclnerney)
– ANNIVERSAIRE HOLDINGS (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Managing Director: Masamitsu Aoki)
– SMBC Venture Capital (Head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, President: Akira Ochiai)
– Mizuho Capital (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Yusuke Omachi)
– Pavilion Capital (wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, a Singapore government-affiliated investment company)
■ Achievements to date
– Orders: More than 100 from Japan and overseas
– Satellites handled: More than 50
– Number of employees: 36 (as of the end of November 2021)
■ Comments from investors
Tohru Akaura, General Partner, Incubate Fund
Since its inception, Space BD has been expanding its business scope, focusing on commercialization projects for JAXA while accumulating achievements at an overwhelmingly fast pace. The company has become a driving force in the Japanese space industry thanks to its network of space professionals worldwide, its accumulated deep knowledge, and its team with high business development and engineering capabilities. The company has become a leader in the Japanese space industry. Through this financing, Space BD will diversify its satellite launch options and further develop its business in the space field. Moreover, I am confident the company will become a leader in the world’s space industry. We will continue to work together with the other shareholders to provide our full support.
Masamitsu Aoki, Managing Director, ANNIVERSAIRE HOLDINGS
As the Related company of AOKI Holdings, we have again chosen to invest in Space BD after the previous round in October 2019. We have been following CEO Nagasaki and his team since before the founding of Space BD, and we are pleased with the steady growth in the business & organization and the speed and execution ability we have seen to date. We will continue to support Space BD in its efforts to become a company that represents Japan around the world.
Hiroya Ota, Director, SMBC Venture Capital
We are pleased to continue to support Space BD following the previous round. After the last round of investment, the team led by CEO Nagasaki has become stronger, and talented and passionate people are continually coming to join the team. As the private-sector-led space business continues to expand, Space BD is becoming more and more indispensable. The entire SMBC Group is committed to supporting Space BD to create a world-leading industry and company from Japan.
Yusuke Omachi, President, Mizuho Capital
We are pleased to announce that we will be making an additional investment in Space BD following our previous investment in 2019.
Since our last investment, the company has completed various projects, including public bids, and we feel that Space BD is an indispensable player in the space business as a general trading company in space. Space BD has brought together an excellent team overflowing with vitality, centered on the CEO Nagasaki, and we are confident that Space BD will continue to grow further as a top runner in the space industry. Mizuho Capital will support Space BD’s further growth with the full power of the Mizuho Group and contribute to the development of the space industry.
CHOUN Chee Kong, Head Japan Investments, Pavilion Capital
Space BD is a pioneering company that connects space and society, and based on its strong partnership with JAXA to date has become the No. 1 player in space business development. We have been very impressed with Space BD’s unique approach even before this investment. We have high expectations for the company’s future growth. Pavilion Capital is confident that Space BD will lead the Japanese space industry. We look forward to working with the company’s management team for many years to come as we work together to build the industrialization of space for the world.
■ About Space BD
Space BD is a space business development firm aiming to be a company that represents Japan and develops a world-class industry. Since our foundation in 2017, Space BD has provided a one-stop service from proposing business plans to providing engineering support regarding space utilization, including the International Space Station (ISS).
Space BD promotes the industrialization of space by providing comprehensive services with both business development and technical aspects for all those who want to utilize space.