SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean startup NaraSpace Technology said May 3 it had raised 10 billion won ($7.88 million) in a Series A financing round to pursue the development of electro-optical remote-sensing nanosatellites. 

Including 3.5 billion won ($2.76 million) raised in pre-Series A in August 2020, the Busan-based company has raised 13.5 billion won ($10.65 million) since its establishment in 2015. Investors include Korea Development Bank, Hana Ventures, Kolon GLotech, BNK Venture Capital, Posco Capital, and Hi Investment Partners.

The company plans to launch its first two technology demonstration satellites — Observer-1A and Observer-1B — into low Earth orbit on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in the first half and second half of 2023, respectively. The two satellites, which are 20 centimeters in width and 40 centimeters in height, are designed to have a spatial resolution of 1.5 meters per pixel, according to the company’s website

“We will spend much of the fund on developing Observer-1A and Observer-1B,” marketing manager Oh Hyung-wook told SpaceNews. “If they operate properly in space, we will speed up production of commercial products.”

He said another product the company is working on is BusanSat, a marine observation satellite with a resolution of 388 meters per pixel, which will monitor air and marine pollution around Busan, South Korea’s biggest port city.

NaraSpace is also developing a geospatial imagery analytics platform named “Earthpaper” that will produce various satellite-based data based on high-resolution images captured by its own satellites and others.

“We are planning to produce and launch more than 100 nanosatellites within five years with the goal of providing satellite-based real-time monitoring of major cities around the world,” said Park Jae-pil, co-founder and CEO of NaraSpace Technology.

Park Si-soo covers space industries in South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries. Park worked at The Korea Times — South Korea's leading English language newspaper — from 2007 to 2020. He earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Korea...