Matthew Neville

London space tech fund invests £9.4m in Japanese “space sustainability” company

London headquartered Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC announced it has made a $12.5m (approximately £9.4m) investment into Japanese “space sustainability” company Astroscale Holdings Inc.

Astroscale closed a $109m (approximately £81.7m) series F round which was led by THE FUND Limited Partnership in Japan and backed by a group of investors including Seraphim Space, Japan Growth Capital Investment Corporation, and AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Japan, Astroscale is a truly international business with operational subsidiaries in the UK, US, Israel and Singapore and a growing team of over 250 people.

In addition to developing technology, Astroscale works closely with government and policymakers across the globe to ensure licensing and regulation is put in place that will foster a sustainable environment.

Astroscale is addressing the issues by offering on-orbit services used to transport, inspect, extend the life of and remove satellites in space to provide assurance and continuation of service for customers.

The company was also selected as a commercial partner by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Phase I of its debris removal project with the goal to remove an upper stage rocket body from orbit.

Will Whitehorn, chair of Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC, commented: “This investment is an example of the Company’s commitment to ESG and impactful investment. Astroscale also represents the Company’s first investment in Asia, highlighting the global nature of our strategy to invest in emerging category leaders.”

Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim Space LLP, commented: “The long-term sustainable health of the space sector is becoming ever more important with tens of thousands of satellite launches planned in the coming years. Astroscale is already the category leader in the global on-orbit servicing market.

Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO Astroscale, commented: “The G7 pledge on space sustainability and the Paris Peace Forum’s “Net Zero Space” Declaration are part of a growing global call to take urgent action to reduce orbital debris and build a sustainable foundation for the growth of space.

“Astroscale exists to answer this call and, since our inception in 2013, we have dedicated ourselves to solving the technological, economic and policy challenges of satellite servicing to build this sustainable foundation for a thriving space ecosystem.”

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