Tokyo-based ALE Co., Ltd. (ALE), led by CEO Lena Okajima, with the mission to make space closer for people, announces the allocation of new shares to third parties underwritten by the Space Frontier Fund (operated by SPARX Innovation for Future Co., Ltd.), Horizons Ventures, THVP No.2 Investment Limited Partnership (operated by Tohoku University Venture Partners Co., Ltd.), J&TC Frontier LLC and private investors. In addition to its series A financing, announced 5th September 2019, ALE will secure a total of approximately US$21 million by April 2022 with participation from existing and new investors. The total amount of funding including series A will be approximately US $47 million.
This additional financing will help the company further develop its third satellite for man-made shooting stars (on-orbit demonstration in 2023 and commercialization subsequently), the space debris prevention component using an ElectroDynamic Tether* (on-orbit demonstration is planned for FY 2021), and the component technology for atmospheric data acquisition as well as establishing an organizational structure for the Atmospheric Data business development.
*Space debris prevention component utilizing EDT(ElectroDynamic Tether)：
■Comment from the Space Frontier Fund
The man-made shooting star business is an unprecedented innovation in the world of "satellite ＆ entertainment”. We look forward to ALE’s bold ideas and execution ability. We hope that it will drive the frontier of the new space industry in Japan.
■Comment from THVP No.2 Investment Limited Partnership
ALE's business is based on the core technologies from equipment development to operation of small satellites developed by Dr. -Ing. Toshinori Kuwahara, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tohoku University, and it is expected to incorporate a wide range of advanced technologies such as materials and fluid simulation in the future. In other words, ALE would realize innovative social implementation of research results at universities.
In addition, ALE's space debris countermeasure activities and atmospheric data collection activities can contribute to the new utilization of space and the maintenance of a sustainable global environment. We believe that the significance of these activities in solving social issues is extremely high.
■Comment from J&TC Frontier LLC
J&TC Frontier is a co-investment vehicle coordinated by JFE Engineering Corporation and Tokyo Century Corporation, which invests in startups that can take on the challenge of creating new value and think about the future together.
ALE has the potential to change the world by unraveling uncharted areas such as the mesosphere, and we will support them for their further growth.
■Comment from Lena Okajima, CEO, ALE Co., Ltd.
I would like to thank everyone who has invested in us, everyone who has been involved, and everyone who has supported us. We have overcome a lot of difficulties with your help. Your expectations of ALE and our responsibility to it have given us the strength to overcome various events. With this energy, I would like to deliver the man-made shooting star in 2023 and bring dreams and hopes to many people in the world. In addition, we will approach extreme weather events and environmental issues through atmospheric data collection activities and aim to realize a safe space environment through the development of space debris prevention devices.
With your support and expectation, ALE will strive to be a leader in the space industry in Japan for the new utilization of space and sustainable human development.
■Comment from Dr. -Ing. Toshinori Kuwahara, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tohoku University
I am very pleased to see that the foundation has been laid for ALE to promote its business more strongly than ever. We will continue to strengthen our collaboration with ALE and make further efforts to implement the space engineering technology cultivated at Tohoku University in society.
As for the man-made shooting star, based on the results of the on-orbit demonstration obtained through the JAXA innovative satellite technology demonstration program, we will aim to make it available for actual use by the third satellite. As for the space debris prevention device, we will conduct an on-orbit demonstration using a 3U CubeSat satellite, which is currently under research and development, and aim for early commercialization.
ALE will deliver dreams and hopes to people all over the world through the realization of a safe and secure space environment free of space debris and the man-made shooting star project that will unfold against this backdrop. We would like to thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
■Related press releases
ALE raised US $11 million in a series A round led by Horizon Ventures
■About ALE Co., Ltd.
ALE is a private space start-up company with the mission to “Make space closer. For all of us. Together”. ALE aims to provide space entertainment content such as man-made shooting stars to enjoy the beauty and the possibilities of space in order to entice human curiosity and accelerate space development.
Furthermore as its first step, ALE aspires to use the data it has collected from space to tackle climate change here on Earth. With effective use of both, ALE strives to contribute to the sustainable development of humankind.
Company Name: ALE Co., Ltd.
Address: Sumitomo Fudosan Shibadaimon-NichomeBldg. 2F 2-11-8 Shibadaimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0012, Japan
CEO: Dr. Lena Okajima
Established: 1st September 2011
Nature of Business: Space entertainment (Sky Canvas), Atmospheric data, Small satellite research and development
URL ： https://star-ale.com/en/
<Added on 16th July 2021 >
The description of J&TC Frontier LLC has been added