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Japanese startup raises $7.3 million for smallsat antenna sharing service

13 Sep 2017, 21:58 UTC
Japanese startup raises $7.3 million for smallsat antenna sharing service
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PARIS — Infostellar, a Tokyo startup creating a service that lets smallsat operators tap into ground stations around the world, has raised $7.3 million from a team that includes the early-stage investor arms of Airbus and Sony.
Airbus Ventures led the 21-month-old company’s Series A capital raise, with the Sony Innovation Fund and four other Japanese investors — D4V, FreakOut Holdings, 500 Startups Japan, and Weru Investment contributing. Infostellar plans to use the money to launch a cloud-based satellite antenna-sharing platform called StellarStation next month, and to hire additional employees.
Infostellar’s service works by pooling idle time on established satellite operator’s ground station antennas into a network connected by a sharing module. Naomi Kurahara, Infostellar’s co-founder and chief executive, told SpaceNews the company has five partner stations to date, spread across Africa and Asia.
“Our partners, the antenna owners, most of them operate one to three satellites, and one satellite takes about one hour per day,” she said. “So on average, they are using their stations for two hours per day, and the rest they can provide to us.”
Infostellar joins a rising number of companies tailoring ground segment services for small satellite operators. Large Japanese satellite operator ...

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