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GITAI, a space robotics company based in Japan, has brought in 4 billion yen, around $28.5 million, in a Series B extension round of funding. GITAI plans to use the funding to expand its business and technology development in the US.
The company hopes the round will help it to enhance the technology readiness level of GITAI’s Robotic Rover and Lunar Inchworm Type Robotic Arm, expand its engineering model/flight model manufacturing facilities in the US, and expand employment in the US.
GITAI’s Lunar Inchworm Type robot is a robotic arm with grapple end-effectors on both ends of the arm. The grapple end-effectors are GITAI’s proprietary technology that allows the end of robotic arms to be interchangeable. This allows users to connect various tools to the robot to perform multiple tasks and allows the arm to move autonomously if it has an end effector at both ends of the arm.
GITAI’s Lunar Rover combines high-performance capabilities with affordability. It can aid in constructing essential lunar infrastructure, like solar panels, communication antennas, and habitat modules.
In August 2022, GITAI completed various tests with its robotic inchworm arm and lunar rovers corresponding to Level 3 of NASA’s Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). The tests were completed in a simulated lunar environment at the JAXA Sagamihara Campus. During the demonstration, GITAI’s robots emulated tasks that could be required for lunar exploration and lunar base construction. The robots completed mobility and capability performance verification tests.
The funding came from a host of investors, both new and returning, including:
- KDDI Open Innovation Fund III L.P. (KDDI CORPORATION / Global Brain Corporation)
- DCI Venture Growth Fund (Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd.)
- The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited
- ANRI III Investment Limited Partnership
- ANRI I-II-III Annex Investment Limited Partnership
- NVC No.1 Limited Liability Partnership (NVenture Capital / NEC Capital Solutions Limited)
- JIC Venture Growth Fund 2 Investment Limited Partnership (JIC Venture Growth Investments Co., Ltd.)
- Electric Power Development Co.,Ltd.（J-POWER）
- Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Ⅸ, Limited Partnership (Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.)
- Global Brain CVC Funds
- EP-GB LP (SEIKO Epson Corporation / Epson X Investment Corporation / Global Brain Corporation)
- JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund L.P. (JGC JAPAN CORPORATION / JGC HOLDINGS CORPORATION / Global Brain Corporation)
- KURONEKO Innovation Fund L.P. (YAMATO HOLDINGS CO., LTD. / Global Brain Corporation)
“We are thrilled to further expand our operations in the US,” Sho Nakanose, GITAI’s Founder & CEO, said. “While SpaceX and BlueOrigin are reducing the cost of transportation to space by 100 times, we at GITAI are taking on the challenge of reducing labor costs by 100 times. We will provide the most labor for the Moon and Mars and build infrastructure such as solar panels, communication antennas, fuel generators, and habitation modules.”