Japanese space startup ispace raises $28 million funding; launches new lunar data platform

A part of the funding will be also used to broaden the possibilities of the lander for the third commercial mission and beyond.


Based out of Tokyo, the space startup ispace has been developing its private lunar lander, set to be launched sometime in 2022. It announced on Thursday, 20 August that the firm has raised as much as $28 million from its ‘Series B’ funding round and this will help in the lander’s first and second mission.

Alongside the project, the firm also announced a new data platform business. Titled “Blueprint Moon,” this business concept will collect lunar data, apply it to tools and applications, and provide the information to other companies, space agencies, research organizations and others to help in “mission planning and lunar surface development”.

 Japanese space startup ispace raises  million funding; launches new lunar data platform

ispace's lunar lander that the company plans on sending to the moon. image credit: ispace

“This new business concept was launched in anticipation for increased activity and permanent human presence on the Moon in the coming years, which ispace believes could generate economic activity,” read the official statement.

As a TechCrunch report points out, commercialization of space has NASA and other government and private firms working extensively.

According to a report by Space.com, the startup was established as part of Google's Lunar X Prize competition and its first lander Hakuto-R is expected to receive the bulk of the funding. The total amount of funds went up to $125 million after the recent funding round but Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace, refused to “offer estimates for lunar lander costs or launch service fees”.

However, the statement did specify that a part of the fund will be also used to broaden the possibilities of the lander for the third commercial mission and beyond.

“This new investment and launch of our new lunar data offering concept will not only support the steady development of ispace's business but will also prove that ispace can lead globally in the development of the lunar economy,” said the CEO.


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