Synspective satellite
Japanese company Synspective has a goal of operating as many as 30 SAR satellites by the end of the decade. Credit: Synspective

WASHINGTON — Japanese radar imaging company Synspective has raised 7 billion yen ($44 million) in a Series C round intended to fuel the expansion of its satellite constellation.

The Tokyo-based company announced June 20 it raised the Series C round led by Japan Growth Capital Investment Corporation, managed by Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc., as well as investment limited partnerships operated by JAFCO Group Co., Ltd. and by Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd. Several other institutional and individual investors participated in the round.

Synspective, which has launched four synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellites to date, says it will use the funding to ramp up production of satellites, develop satellite data solutions and expand its business globally.

“This financing will accelerate our global business expansion, which we aim to fully realize by the end of this year with the start of mass production at our plant and the enhancement of our satellite constellation,” Motoyuki Arai, chief executive of Synspective, said in a statement announcing the funding.

With the new round, Synspective says it has raised 28.1 billion yen in capital along with 8.3 billion yen in loans. The company raised 11.9 billion yen ($100 million at the exchange rates of the time) in a Series B round in March 2022.

Investors said they see an opportunity for Synspective given growing demand for SAR imagery. “The supply of SAR satellite data is currently limited amidst increasing worldwide demand, and experts expect this field to grow dramatically,” Kazumasa Watanabe, representative director and chief executive of aSTART, one investor in the round, stated. “Synspective has already successfully launched and operated four SAR satellites and is now entering the phase of building a large constellation.”

“We consider that society’s demands for the data and solutions provided by Synspective have increased in various fields, such as social infrastructure management, disaster prevention and mitigation, and security, since our initial investment in 2022,” said Shinji Naito, representative director, chairman and co-chief executive of Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc. “We expect that Synspective will continue to efficiently allocate capital to improve the lives of people around the world through data acquisition and utilization of small SAR satellites.”

The funding announcement comes two days after Synspective signed a contract with Rocket Lab for 10 Electron launches from 2025 through 2027. The company has launched all four of its satellites so far on Electron and has two more Electron launches planned for later this year under an earlier contract.

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...