Space sector on track for record-breaking year of funding

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The SpaceTech sector experienced another record-breaking quarter of venture financing in Q2 2021, both in terms of amounts invested and deals done, according to the latest figures from the Seraphim SpaceTech Venture Capital Index published today. 

During the quarter USD3.7 billion of private investment was made into the sector, up from USD2.7 billion invested in Q1 2021. The record breaking USD6.4 billion invested in the first half of the year (H1 2021) represents nearly 85 per cent of funding recorded for the whole of 2020. Further, investment levels over the trailing 12 months approached the USD12 billion threshold for the first time. Seraphim say they expect this cadence to be maintained going forwards as the COVID-19 related downturn from H1 2020 is now firmly in the rear-view mirror. 

A total of 172 transactions were completed in H1 2021, compared to 221 for the whole of 2020, and the sector now looks like it could eclipse the recorded highest number of deals in a calendar year, being 241, set in 2018, says Seraphim. They continue that Q2 2021 also continued in a similar vein to the prior quarter in terms of the growing number of ‘mega deal’ financing rounds of more than USD50 million, with 14 reported in the quarter.
 
This year has also seen a significant marked shift in public market investors’ appetite for SpaceTech companies, states Seraphim. Before 2021, just six space companies had gone public, raising a combined USD0.8 billion. However, 12 space-related businesses have announced SPAC mergers this year alone, representing more than USD7 billion of investment. While satellite constellation and launch companies will continue to attract interest from the SPAC market this year to help aid new leading technologies.

James Bruegger, Chief Investment Officer of Seraphim Space, says: “The rapid growth that we saw in our last Index report for Q1 2021 has only continued to rise exponentially. The fact that 85 per cent of last year’s record investment has been completed in the first half of 2021 shows how much pent-up market demand there is to invest in leading SpaceTech companies. The Seraphim Space Investment Trust’s oversubscribed Initial Public Offering last month provides another way for investors to gain access to this exciting market which is set for substantial growth. 

“SpaceTech is at the nexus of mega-trends that will define societal change over forthcoming decades and is now playing a unique role in addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Radical advances in the space sector mean a data and connectivity tsunami is transforming the world as we know it, driving the next major paradigm shift in the global economy. The space industrial revolution is demonstrably in full swing as 34 rockets launched 573 satellites during the quarter. The new space economy is now primed for a record-breaking 2021 and beyond.”
 

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