Japan's MUFG Bank, two others lead US$290 million Sierra Space fundraising

CNA -- Sep 27

MUFG Bank is among three Japanese firms leading a US$290-million fundraising round for US spaceship company Sierra Space, spearheading a commercial "spaceport" project in the southwestern region of Oita, the Nikkei daily said on Tuesday (Sep 26).

Despite recent setbacks for national space missions, Japanese companies aiming to foray into space are increasingly deepening ties with private companies, from American giants such as SpaceX to home-grown startups.

MUFG Bank, insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire and trading house Kanematsu together invested several tens of billions of yen in Sierra, gaining a stake in the unlisted company that was now probably valued in excess of $5 billion, the paper said.

Sierra Space, spun off in 2021 from billionaire-owned Sierra Nevada Corp, is among a handful of space industry players attempting to build a private space station that NASA hopes will replace the two decade-old International Space Station by 2030.

Sierra signed a partnership in December with Kanematsu, Japan Airlines and the Oita prefectural government to turn a regional airport into Asia's first "horizontal spaceport". ...continue reading