Space venture Synspective raises 7 billion yen and signs 10 launch contract with US Rocket Lab


On June 20th, space venture Synspective announced that it had raised 7 billion yen in Series C funding through a third-party allotment of new shares. Underwriters included Nomura Sparx Investment, JAFCO Group, Mizuho Capital, and others. With this latest round of funding, Synspective’s total funding amount has reached 28.19 billion yen, excluding the 8.3 billion yen loan.

Space ventures with high hopes for times of disaster

Synspective is a space venture that was just founded in 2018. It has also attracted attention because it was co-founded by Professor Seiko Shirasaka of Keio University, who was involved in research and development of “SAR satellites” in the Cabinet Office’s Impulsing Paradigm Change Through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT).

The company develops and operates small SAR satellites (synthetic aperture radar satellites), sells the SAR data obtained, and provides solutions through analysis.

You may not be familiar with the term, but a “SAR satellite” is different from an optical satellite that can take images like aerial photographs.A satellite with the advantage of acquiring terrain data from space regardless of weather or time of dayis.

For example, if you photograph the same area before and after a disaster like the Noto Peninsula earthquake, you can find changes in the terrain caused by landslides and crustal movements. With optical satellites, it is difficult to observe topographical changes in bad weather or late at night, but with SAR satellites, which obtain data using microwaves that penetrate clouds, observations can be made regardless of weather or time of day.

In the event of heavy rain or flooding, it is expected that observing the water level will allow for an accurate determination of flooded areas, which will help with disaster response measures and can also be used to apply the information to fire insurance procedures, etc.

Synspective is currently raising funds and conducting research and development with the aim of launching 30 small SAR satellites by the second half of 2020.

If we could deploy that many SAR satellites around the Earth, we would be able to detect disasters anywhere in the world.Data can be acquired and utilized in just a few minutes to an hour.Body.

This method of launching a large number of small satellites to build a service is called a “satellite constellation,” and it has been expected to drive the space industry in recent years. Since it does not require large satellites, development costs can be kept down, and low-cost transportation methods into space have been established to some extent, so it is becoming a realistic method for business.

A contract was also signed to launch 10 satellites.

Synspective CEO Motoyuki Arai (left) and Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck (right).

Synspective CEO Motoyuki Arai (left) and Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck (right) on June 18.

Synspective has launched SAR satellites four times so far using rockets from Rocket Lab, an American space venture that launches rockets from New Zealand. All launches have been successful. Synspective says it has two more launch contracts in 2024.

On June 18, the company announced that it had signed an agreement with Rocket Lab to launch 10 new satellites. On the same day, a signing ceremony was held at the Imperial Hotel in Japan, attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. The launches are expected to take place between 2025 and 2027.

The funds raised this time will be used primarily for development, manufacturing, and launch funds for upcoming launches. According to a company spokesperson, the funds will also be used to develop satellite data solutions and expand facilities at mass production sites that the company is considering for future expansion.

Source: BusinessInsider


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