Overnight, or so it seems, space has become “red-hot,” facilitating new financing and exit options for space entrepreneurs and investors. A frequent question is whether this change in market sentiment is a flash in the pan or the beginning of a new, sustainable era?
Money will continue flowing into the space industry from government agencies, private equity firms and public markets, according to panelists at the 2021 SmallSat Symposium.
Astroscale Holdings Inc. raised $51 million in a Series E investment round, bringing total funding for the Tokyo-based orbital debris removal startup to $191 million.
Radar satellite operator Iceye raised $87 million in a Series C round announced Sept. 22, boosting the Finnish startup’s total investment tally to $152 million.
Indian Earth observation startup Pixxel announced Aug. 19 it raised $5 million in a seed investment round for a constellation of Earth observation satellites.
Space startups in the United Kingdom and Switzerland led their European counterparts in raising private capital last year, according to the European Space Policy Institute.
Matthew Kuta, president and COO of Voyager Space Holdings, says the crisis has laid bare a fundamental mismatch between venture investors focused on making quick profits and what space companies need to be successful, which is a long-term commitment.
Rationalization of the startup landscape and the right sizing of company balance sheets is inevitable, paving the way for “Space 3.0,” which will see the profitable and sustainable exploitation of entirely new market opportunities, backed by a growing base of enlightened stakeholders.
One way to help the industry is for the government to communicate what problems it needs solved and commit funding for the right solutions.
Treasury is said to be concerned that changing the rule for venture-owned startups would subvert the intent of the relief loan program.
A $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research award was matched by $1.5 million from ATX Venture Partners and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
Space industry startups attracted $5.7 billion in financing in 2019, “shattering the $3.5 billion record set the previous year,” according to a new report by Bryce Space and Technology.
The European Union will provide 200 million euros ($222 million) to support Europe’s space industry, in the form of a loan to help fund development of the Ariane 6 and investment in space startups.