Venture Capital Investment in Space Startups Surged in 2015
Based on the report from defense and aerospace consulting firm Tauri Group, there was a huge increase for investment in space travel during 2015. Space startup investment in last year were accounted as two-third of total 15 years investment in space exploration.
Tauri Group is a consulting firm specialized in defence and aerospace, with specialty in homeland security and Defense, threat detection and response, space and technology R&D, and technology assessments. Founded in 2001, the Virginia-based firm has client from government agencies and multinational contractors in security, defense, science, and technology sectors.
In its new report, Tauri Group revealed a huge investment in aerospace startup companies. There are than 50 venture capital firms invested an astounding $1.8 billion in space startups during 2015. That number alone is tallied at two third of total $2.9 billion in venture capital investment in space exploration.
Managing partner of The Tauri Group and adviser to several commercial space startups Carissa Christensen told Fortune, "It's really an unprecedented level of investment activity by non-space actors in space." In regard to the number of investment she said, "The core message is that its been a very large investment year for space, and particularly for these kinds of companies."
Two of the pioneers in the space startup is Blue Origin, founded by founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos in 2000, and SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Blue Origin was focused on developing sub-orbital spaceflight, while SpaceX was founded to create orbital rocket launch. Both companies are targeted to create a reusable rocket technology for space shuttle.
Research & Development Magazine highlighted both companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin as the leaders of this field. Investors are no longer considering space companies as dangerous investment. Although some of its initial attempts were failure but SpaceX was finally able to launch rocket into space, even docking into the International Space Station.
According to Space News, last year also marked a $1 billion investment in SpaceX by Google and Fidelity. While a new rocket company, OneWeb, received a $500 million Series A funding round.
Following those companies, other space startups were founded and provide a new sector of tech startup. however according to miss Christensen, "SpaceX opened the door, but what really brought on the investment is data."
New space startups such as Spire, Planet Labs, Mapbox, BlackSky Global, and Orbital Insight were founded with different positioning than SpaceX and Blue Origin. They are successfully attracted venture investment with space-based data, for instance in building and managing constellations of imaging data from sateelites or managing and crunching data collected from satellites.
The commercial space industry in 15 years have taken around $13.3 billion of investment, and 21% were were raised from venture capital investment. The year 2015 marked a growing interest in space startups, as venture capital invested a staggering $1.8 billion for space startup companies.