– TOKYO, Japan, December 21, 2023 –
Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, “Epson”) and its subsidiary Epson X Investment Corporation (“EXI”) have recently invested in Axelspace Holdings, the holding company of Axelspace Corporation, a startup company out of the University of Tokyo that develops and manufactures microsatellites. The investment was made through a joint fund, the EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership.
With the vision of bringing “Space within Your Reach,” Axelspace launched its AxelLiner, a business that develops, manufactures, and operates microsatellites, and AxelGlobe, a business that captures and accumulates Earth observation data, sells satellite imagery, and provides analysis and consulting services.
|GRUS satellites ©︎Axelspace
According to Space Industry Vision 2030, adopted by the Cabinet Office in 2019, the Japanese government seeks to double the market size of the Japanese space industry to 2.4-trillion yen by the early 2030s. The space industry has recently reached a turning point and is heading toward rapid commercialization. New business players—primarily venture companies—and new business models are rapidly growing in the so-called new space sector. In addition to solutions businesses that utilize satellite data, these players are developing high-frequency observation services using microsatellite constellations, providing on-orbit services, and developing space resources. The number of satellites launched globally is expected to double in the next 10 years, and the utilization of satellite space data and technology is expected to continue to grow steadily.
Axelspace is a private-sector satellite manufacturer that, to date, has designed, manufactured, and now operates nine microsatellites. The company, which simultaneously manufactured four of its GRUS satellites for its AxelGlobe data service, is accumulating knowledge in volume-production. The on-orbit services sector and the utilization of space data and technology using these microsatellites are expected to further expand in the future. As this unfolds, Axelspace will expand around its core businesses, an Earth observation platform and one-stop microsatellite services.
Under the Epson 25 Renewed corporate vision, Epson seeks to contribute to the development of a smart society with crystal device and semiconductor solutions that capitalize on our state-of-the-art efficient, compact and precise technologies. Epson and EXI invested in Axelspace because it is a growing company that has demonstrated competitiveness in the expanding space data and technology utilization business, has strong technological capabilities, and has continued to compile a strong track record. Moreover, they wish to explore the possibility of synergies with Epson’s sensing devices.
Going forward, Epson will help to achieve a sustainable society through co-creation with a variety of partners based on its proprietary technologies, products, and services.
■About Epson X Investment
Epson X Investment Corporation is a Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) firm wholly owned by information equipment and precision instrument manufacturer Seiko Epson Corporation. It established the EP-GB Investment Limited Partnership with independent venture capital firm Global Brain Corporation, an independent venture capital firm specializing in CVC management, and participates in investment activities.
Axelspace provides solutions utilizing its proprietary microsatellite technology under the vision of “Space within Your Reach.” It has two core businesses, AxelGlobe and AxelLiner. The AxelGlobe monitoring service platform employs microsatellites to provide Earth observation data. The AxelLiner business is a one-stop microsatellite service under which the company designs and manufactures microsatellites and related components, makes microsatellite launch arrangements, and offers, among other things, operational support and contracting services.
|Axelspace Corporation: August 8, 2008
Axelspace Holdings: March 2020
|Head Office Location
|Clip Nihonbashi Building, 3-3-3, Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0023, Japan
|President and CEO
|JPY 8,050 million (including capital reserve) (as of December 1, 2023）
|Number of employees
|146 (as of December 1, 2023)
*GRUS is a next-generation remote-sensing microsatellite, the building block of Axelspace’ s Earth observation constellation.
Even with its mass of around 100kg, it will enable us to obtain images with 2.5m ground resolution.
Epson is a global technology leader whose philosophy of efficient, compact and precise innovation enriches lives and helps create a better world. The company is focused on solving societal issues through innovations in home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle. Epson’s goal is to become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of more than JPY 1 trillion.