- Laurence Russell
Japanese space industry startup “Synspective” raises US$100 million in funding
Synspective Inc., a SAR satellite data and solutions provider, announced that the company has raised US $100M (11.9 billion yen) including a Series B funding round. The latest funding was led by Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), and Pavilion Capital Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) among others, as well as bank loans, and it is supposed to be ranked within the top ten largest startups in Japan. This puts Synspective’s total funding value at US $200M (22.8 billion yen) since its founding.
Background and purpose of financing
Synspective Inc. develops and operates high-frequency, high-resolution SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites to provide data analytics and solution services. We aim to establish a constellation of 30 SAR satellites around 2026, that enable wide-area, high-frequency earth observation.
Synspective will use the new capital for the development, manufacturing, launch and operation of its SAR satellites, preparation of mass production facilities, development of satellite data solutions, and global expansion with the aim of further business growth.
* Compared to the 2021 total funding ranking in the [2021 Complete Edition] Domestic Startup Investment Trend Report by For Startups Inc., it is supposed to be ranked within the top ten largest startups in Japan.
Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)
Mori Trust Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
Japan Growth Capital Investment Corporation managed by Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)
Pavilion Capital Pte. Ltd.（Singapore）
Space Frontier Fund operated by SPARX Innovation for the Future Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
JAFCO Group Co., Ltd. and its Investment Limited Partnership (Tokyo, Japan)
Japan Co-Invest III LP operated by Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Investment Co., Ltd.(Tokyo, Japan)
SBI Group (Tokyo, Japan)
Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund (Tokyo, Japan)
Shinsei Venture Partners Ⅱ Investment Limited Partnership operated by Shinsei Corporate Investment Group (Tokyo, Japan)
Japan Post Capital Co.,Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
AS aSTART 1 Limited Partnership operated by aSTART Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
EEI Fund 4 Investment Limited Partnership operated by Energy & Environment Investment, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)
Abies Ventures Fund I, L.P. operated by Abies Ventures, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan)
Mizuho Growth Fund No.3 Limited Partnership operated by Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
The Shoko Chukin Bank，Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)
MUFG Bank, Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan）
Investors’ comment/Background of the investment and their expectations
Mr. Masachika Nakao, Managing Executive Officer, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.: "With a slogan “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing”, Sompo Japan Insurance has been committed to create a society in which every person can live a healthy, prosperous and happy life in one’s own way. Taking the opportunity of the capital tie-up with Synspective, we will cooperate to create social value through the new services development that deliver peace of mind to our customers, those who are affected by a disaster, as soon as possible by encouraging them to make insurance claims."
Mr. Ichitaro Akita, Chief Investment Officer, Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc.: "We believe that Synspective is an excellent startup that has realized the development and launch of their SAR satellites expeditiously since establishing in 2018. The company continues to accelerate commercialization and is preparing for further global expansion. We expect Synspective to effectively allocate capital from a long-term perspective and improve the lives of people around the world through data acquisition and effective utilization of small SAR satellites."
Mr. CHOUN Chee Kong, Pavilion Capital Head Japan Investments: "Due to the recent effects of climate change, extreme phenomena in weather, climate, and precipitation have increased all over the world and the frequency and severity of storm and flood damage will continue to increase. Synspective will be directly involved in disaster mitigation by developing and operating SAR satellites and providing solution services that utilize SAR data. We expect that the company will become a "social information infrastructure" to support sustainable living in the future."
Tomotake Kitazawa, Partner & Tatsuya Nagaoka, Principal, JAFCO Group Co., Ltd.: "Since the initial investment (April 2018), we have always been supporting Synspective for its commercialization as an investor and a team member. In the process, we are convinced that the essential value of Synspective lies in the world-class global team in both satellite development and satellite image analysis, which was formed under the leadership of CEO Arai, and its ability to continue offering the world's first solution services based on their original SAR data. JAFCO will keep supporting Synspective to realize the "learning world" that the company advocates for and create a more sustainable society."
Comments from Dr. Motoyuki Arai, Synspective founder and CEO: "We are very grateful for the opportunity to welcome new investors and collaborative partners to expand our business more strongly and globally. Taking the fact that we were able to raise funds beyond the series A funding round as a great expectation and trust from our investors, partners as well as the public, we will further accelerate the expansion of a thirty SAR satellite constellation and enhance our data analysis technology to realize a “learning world” for a sustainable future."