Tokyo-based startup Infostellar has announced raising $7.3 million in a Series A round led by the venture-capital arm of aerospace company Airbus, with participation from WERU Investment, D4V, and Sony Innovation Fund, as well as existing investors FreakOut Holdings and 500 Startups Japan.
The latest round brings the total funds raised by the startup to $8.3 million.
Infostellar, founded by Naomi Kurahara and Kazuo Ishigame in January last year, said it will use the funds to launch its flagship satellite antenna-sharing platform StellarStation, expand its network of partner antennas, and hire talent.
Dubbed as the “Airbnb for satellites”, StellarStation acts as a connector between antenna holders with satellite operators.
It evaluates antenna specs and data transmission history, displaying the most viable antennas for a specific satellite. Users can book a transmission window that automatically begins once the satellite is in range.
The platform also processes data to ensure it is received in a usable form, and all operations are presented to the user in a graphic interface.
The startup said its hardware-software solution addresses two major challenges faced by satellite operators: Insufficient satellite access time and unused antenna idle time.
Users can share their antenna’s idling time and receive credits, then use those credits to access other antennas in the network or exchange credits for cash.
“With the burgeoning number of Low Earth Orbit launches and the fast-evolving criticality of data from space, supporting ground station networks are becoming hard pressed to keep up with satellite data demands — despite the irony that much of the time ground…