Axelspace Corporation (HQ: Tokyo, Japan; CEO : Yuya Nakamura) has completed its Series B funding round raising approximately 2.58B JPY (22.8M USD). The round sees the allocation of new shares to the lead investor 31VENTURES – Global Brain – Growth I Joint Venture (managed by Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. and Global Brain Corporation) and to several other venture capital and corporate investors. With this critical step Axelspace moves closer to the realization of the new-generation Earth-observation infrastructure AxelGlobe, which will observe the whole planed every day, as announced in December 2015. The launch of the GRUS satellite, which had been postponed in 2017, will be performed in December 2018. Moreover, the structure of the organization has undergone some changes in association with the funding event.
- 31VENTURES – Global Brain – Growth I Joint Venture
- (Managed by Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. and Global Brain Corporation)
- Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ)
- Innovation Platform for The University of Tokyo (UTokyoIPC)
- SBI Investment Co. Ltd.
- The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited
With the funding obtained in this round Axelspace will develop two additional GRUS satellites for launch in 2020. Increasing the number of satellites will lead to more frequent captures of Earth imagery. To tap into this valuable new resource, we are preparing to begin large-scale collaboration with Mitsui Fudosan, also one of the lead investors.
Left to right: Mr. Nobuyuki Tanaka (member of the Venture Co-creation Department at Mitsui Fudosan), Mr. Akira Sugawara (General Manager of the same department), Yuya Nakamura (Axelspace CEO), Mr. Yasuhiko Yurimoto (Global Brain CEO) and Mr. Hidetaka Aoki (Partner of Global Brain).
The launch of the first GRUS satellite, which was postponed from 2017 to this year due to hardware improvements, has been fixed. The details of launch are as follows:
- Launch Date December 27, 2018 (subject to weather conditions)
- Launch Vehicle Soyuz-2
- Launch Site Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russian Federation
- Orbit Sun-synchronous orbit, 600km altitude
- Launch Service Provider GK Launch Services (subsidiary of Glavkosmos)
- No. of Satellites Launched 1
The satellite has already reached the launch site and the final preparations for launch are ongoing.
GRUS flight hardware
With the completion of the Series B round, Axelspace moves to a new stage. To better support this growth, they have created the new executive positions of CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and CBDO (Chief Business Development Officer) and have made several other structural changes, strengthening the company leadership. The following changes were made:
■ President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer, holdover): Yuya Nakamura
He completed a doctoral degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Tokyo. As a student, he was involved in the development of three nano-satellites. Just after graduating in 2008 he established Axelspace Corporation, taking the role of CEO. Since 2015 he has been serving as a member of the Committee on National Space Policy.
■ COO (Chief Operating Officer, holdover): Yuta Nojiri
He obtained a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Tokyo. Involved in investment banking in a stock company after graduation. He joined Axelspace in 2009.
■ CTO (Chief Technology Officer, newly appointed): Naoki Miyashita
He completed a doctoral degree in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology while concurrently being involved in the development of two nano-satellites. He co-founded Axelspace in 2008 and has taken the role of executive since.
■ CBDO (Chief Business Development Officer, newly appointed): Yasunori Yamazaki
During a long experience in the financial sector he worked on corporate marketing, branding and corporate access. He joined Axelspace in 2017. His strength is planning and execution of global deployment and development strategies.
■ CFO (Chief Financial Officer, newly appointed): Masayuki Nagayama
He graduated from the Department of Systems Innovation of the University of Tokyo. He joined Axelspace in 2018 after gaining experience in business firms, M&A advisory firms and investment companies. He will put his experience of business administration, business development, M&A and investing to use in this new executive role.
■ External Director (holdover): Tomy Kamada
He obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Tokyo. In 1984 he co-founded the software startup ACCESS Co.,Ltd. through which he created the first mobile browser in the world and other innovative technologies in the field of mobile internet. The company went public in 2001 on Mothers of Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2012 he created TomyK Ltd., and has been supporting the creation of new tech startups since. He is the author of a book in Japanese titled “Technology Startups Create the Future”.
■ External Director (holdover): Hidetaka Aoki
He obtained a MSc from the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Auburn. He worked on the development of microsatellites as a student, then on the Japanese ISS transfer vehicle Kounotori and on large satellites as an engineer in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. After obtaining an MBA and gaining experience as a business consultant he joined Global Brain Corporation, where he is currently working as a partner. He has a long curriculum including advisor roles in JAXA and as a member of governmental boards. He has been serving as an external director of Axelspace since August 2015.
Axelspace co-founder Takashi Eishima has left the role of CTO and will focus on implementing the standardization, optimization and innovation of the company’s satellite technology development process as a senior fellow. Masaru Murai, who has been an external director since 2015, has left that position and returned to the role of external auditor.
Head office location: Clip Nihonbashi Building 2-3F, 3-3-3 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0023, Japan
President & CEO: Yuya Nakamura
Establishment: August 8, 2008
Capital stock: 4,537 Million JPY (including capital reserve)
Main business content: Solutions based on microsatellite technology, design and production of microsatellites and related components, launch arrangements and operational support, business related to microsatellite data