January 14, 2022
ICMG Partners Co., Ltd.
ICMG Co-Creation Fund I Investment LP
We are pleased to announce that ICMG Co-Creation Fund I Investment LP managed by ICMG Partners Co., Ltd. (HQ: Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Gen Funahashi), has invested 100 million JPY in Infostellar (HQ: Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Naomi Kurahara) for their Series B round. Infostellar is a provider of “StellarStation”, a cloud-based ground station platform for satellite operators. To achieve Infostellar’s vision of connecting Earth and Space to empower the future, Infostellar aims to “be the most effective enabler of space business by providing the best access to satellites.”
(Left) Naomi Kurahara, CEO of Infostellar, (Right) Gen Funahashi, CEO of ICMG Partners
Photos taken at ICMG Japan Office and ICMG Singapore Office respectively
In recent years, the need for satellite data utilization has been increasing in all industries, and the frequency of communication between satellites and ground stations is expected to increase as more and more orbiting satellites are launched. However, a single ground station can only communicate with a certain orbiting satellite for about 40 minutes a day when the satellite passes over the ground station. To increase the communication time, it is necessary to utilize multiple ground stations. However, building multiple ground stations requires large amounts of upfront capital and it is not viable for one single company to build a network that covers the entire area of the Earth.
To address these issues, Infostellar will bring together ground stations from around the globe onto their platform, “StellarStation”, allowing satellite operators to access ground stations from around the world. This not only reduces the workload and operational costs of connecting ground station, but ground station owners can also earn additional revenue by renting out ground station idle time to other satellite operators.
Given its strong product market fit, Infostellar is planning to expand its ground station network rapidly. In January 2021, Infostellar successfully conducted a demonstration with an in-orbit satellite, and since May 2021, has been providing downlink services for commercial satellites to European governmental agencies. In June 2021, Infostellar also launched an initiative to connect AWS ground stations to “StellarStation” through a partnership with AWS Ground Station. With more projects in its pipeline, Infostellar is poised for strong growth.
The investment from ICMG will enable Infostellar to further build its platform to increase the volume of satellite data transmissions and to also promote the utilization of satellite data in all industries. In agriculture, the use of satellite data will improve the accuracy of crop growth monitoring, and in fisheries, it will enable us to understand the distribution of marine resources and the location of fish schools. In the field of national defense, the data can be used for disaster monitoring in the event of a large-scale disaster, and for satellite communication that does not rely on ground infrastructure. In this way, we believe that Infostellar’s efforts will contribute to the development of all industries, and thus solve various social issues on the earth.
ICMG Group will support the expansion of Infostellar by utilizing our network of major Japanese companies, securing space for ground stations and financing ground station assets through the effective use of idle assets and land owned by domestic infrastructure companies.
Infostellar is a satellite “Ground Segment as a Service” (GSaaS) provider. Infostellar provides flexible and scalable ground station services enabled by our cloud platform, “StellarStation”, which virtualizes ground station networks. Infostellar also provides support for ground segment operations necessary for satellite operations, such as radio license acquisition and frequency coordination operations. By lowering the barriers to entry in the ground segment, Infostellar empowers new space businesses to build better missions and improve the quality of their service. Founded in 2016, Infostellar is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has its European office in the UK.
【About ICMG Group】
ICMG Group has been leading co-creative innovation not only in Japan but also in Southeast Asia and US together with various stakeholders such as leading Japanese big corporations, startups, and government agencies. ICMG Group has also carried out renewable energy investment projects in Southeast Asia with Tokyo Electric Power Company and Chubu Electric Power Co, formed a strategic partnership in Singapore with UNDP to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and launched the sustainable city initiative project in Japan with Aichi Prefectural Government. ICMG Co-Creation Fund aims to create a sustainable society by providing growth capital and strong partner network of leading Japanese corporations to startups that solve social issues.