Japanese space development startup Gitai (GITAI) announced on May 24 that it has completed a $30 million financing (Series B Extension Round, Note 1) necessary to accelerate and expand its business and technology development in the United States.
A total of nine investment funds participated in this financing through third-party allotment, including Power Development, which has invested in previous stages, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, which is investing for the first time. The funds will be used for three purposes: (1) improving the technological maturity level (TRL) of the company's lunar robotic rover and lunar inchworm robotic arm, (2) expanding its engineering model and flight model manufacturing facilities in the United States, and (3) expanding employment in the United States.
Regarding the financing, Sho Nakanose, founder and CEO of Gitai, said, "We are very pleased to be able to further expand our business in the United States. While SpaceX and Blue Origin have reduced the cost of space transportation to 1/100th, we are challenging ourselves to reduce the cost of labor to 1/100th. We will provide the most labor on the Moon and Mars and build infrastructure such as solar panels, communication antennas, fuel generators, and habitation modules," he said.
The company is taking on the challenge of reducing the burden on astronauts and shortening the construction period and cost of work in space by enabling robots to work safely and accurately to meet the rapidly increasing demand for work in the space exploration sector. The company was established in 2016 and is certified as a J-startup. It also signed a joint research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in December 2018 and a memorandum of understanding with satellite communications company SKY Perfect JSAT in March 2019. In addition, in 2022, the company was selected as an Innovation Showcase Company in the U.S.-Japan Innovation Awards.