WASHINGTON — Japanese startup GITAI has raised an additional $15 million to continue work on lunar robotics technologies, three months after raising $30 million.

The company, with offices in Tokyo and Torrance, California, said Aug. 29 it raised the funding as a further extension of a Series B round. The company initially raised $17 million for that Series B round in 2021 and added $30 million to it in May.

The new funding is a mix of debt and equity. MUFG Bank provided a $7 million loan while the rest came from investments by Green Co-Invest Investment Limited Partnership, Pacific Bays Capital and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital.

Sho Nakanose, found and chief executive of GITAI, told SpaceNews the additional funding will ensure the company can continue development of space robotics systems while expanding its U.S. presence. “In light of recent financial market conditions, we have raised additional funds to ensure that we have sufficient funds for business expansion in the U.S. market over the longer term,” he said.

The new funding, he said, will enable the company to expand its U.S. workforce and to increase cooperation with both government agencies and companies interested in its robotic technologies.

GITAI has been working on a lunar rover and an “inchworm” robotic arm that could be used to construct infrastructure, such as solar arrays and antennas, on the moon. That has included tests of prototypes of those systems in the desert and, more recently, in a chamber filled with simulated lunar regolith. The company’s goal is to conduct a demonstration mission using that rover and robotic arm on the moon as soon as 2026.

The company also plans to demonstrate a robotic arm on the International Space Station. Nakanose said that robotic arm has passed all its NASA safety tests and was handed over to the agency this month. It is currently scheduled to launch to the station on the NG-20 Cygnus cargo resupply mission in December. Once on the station, the arm will be mounted on the exterior of Nanoracks’ Bishop airlock module.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...