Japanese lunar lander developer Ispace has raised $46m in a new funding round to support future missions to the moon.
Tokyo-based ispace said it raised $46m in Series C round from seven investors, led by Incubate Fund, a Japanese venture capital fund. With this new round, ispace has raised $195.5m to date.
Ispace was founded more than a decade ago to compete for Google’s Lunar XPrize, a $20m award for the first privately funded team to land on the moon, travel 500 meters (1,640 feet) and beam high-definition video back to Earth. While the competition concluded without a winner in 2018, a number of teams persisted, betting that increased government spending on moon missions and the falling cost of achieving orbit could support a cottage industry of would-be space explorers. Ispace has billed itself as the lunar version of FedEx Corp., with plans to eventually make money by hauling scientific equipment and commercial goods to the moon.
Takeshi Hakamada, Founder of Ispace, said: “There are an increasing number of stakeholders entering this ecosystem from the development and investment side. We are very grateful to our investors for supporting ispace to develop a high-frequency lunar transportation platform.”