WARPSPACE Co., Ltd., a space startup from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, has closed their Series A financing round with additional funding of 400M JPY ($3.6 million) from The Space Frontier Fund (operated by Sparks Innovation for Future Co., Ltd.) and KSK Angel Fund LLC, which is led by professional soccer player Keisuke Honda. This funding marks the first close of the Series A round and the second close is scheduled to be in May of this year.
In addition, as of March 8, WARPSPACE has transitioned to a company with a board of directors. Misuzu Onuki, who is in charge of investment in the Space Frontier Fund and also serves as a member and director of space industry-related organizations, is taking the role of an outside director at WARPSPACE. Through a series of efforts, the company will accelerate the development of “WarpHub InterSat,” which is scheduled to be launched at the end of 2022.
WarpHub InterSat is the world’s first inter-satellite optical communication relay network service using small optical relay satellites. The company isaiming to launch the service in 2023. The number of satellites is increasing exponentially in LEO, which is between 500 to 800 km from the surface of the Earth. WarpHub Intersat enables the satellites to constantly communicate with the ground stations with high-speed optical communication, which also enables the satellite operators to access more satellite data in near real-time, which contributes to the realization of a sustainable global economy of the earth.
Established in 2016. WARPSPACE has launched three communication satellites including the one made in the predecessor university project. In addition to expertise in satellite engineering, the firm is developing space business by taking advantage of partnerships with research institutes, such as JAXA and the experimental and test facilities owned by Tsukuba Science City.