ESA partners with Seraphim
February 7, 2023
Seraphim Space Accelerator, part of Seraphim, the Space focused Investment group, has entered a partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The European Space Agency is dedicated to the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of humankind. With an annual budget of €8 billion, they’re pushing the frontiers of science and technology, to promote economic growth in Europe. ESA has long recognised the valuable role start-ups play in the space industrial ecosystem. The partnership is part of the ESA’s new strategy of working with investors (ESA Investor Network) and business accelerators to support early and growth-stage SpaceTech ventures that have the potential to solve some of the world’s most pressing climate, communications, and security issues. The partnership is designed so the ESA, through working with Seraphim, can help identify and support European Space start-ups by providing access to the global Space Venture Capital market, which represented over £8bn of investment in 2022.
The multi-year partnership between Seraphim and the ESA will work alongside ESA’s ScaleUp programme, which was launched last year to help uncover the most exciting early-stage companies in Europe. Seraphim, through its space accelerator, will be providing its market-leading insight and expertise as a global space investment group, supporting the programme delivery with workshops, mentoring and panel sessions in front of venture capital targets. The ScaleUp programme can work in tandem with Seraphim by supporting a company along its entire life cycle – assisting in the development of the enterprise with business incubation, business acceleration, intellectual property and technology transfer services and facilitating the scaling up of their products in new markets.
This news comes soon after ESA announced £50 million of funding for projects to supercharge the UK’s satellite communications industry. With this partnership, they are further cementing their commitment to supporting and financing early-stage businesses.. It is hoped the agreement with the Seraphim Accelerator will provide a vital platform to access capital globally for space start-ups which have the potential to become world leaders. Projects like these are hoping to further support an already fast-growing satellite communications industry, with services contributing £10.4 billion to the economy and to the creation of more than 26,600 jobs according to the UK Science Minister George Freeman.
Since 2018, Seraphim Space Accelerator has proven itself to be the go-to space accelerator globally for catalysing early-stage space tech innovation, with graduates having closed over $240 million in equity funding from 90 Venture Capital firms globally. The Seraphim team helps identify, support, and grow early-stage Space Tech companies across the full life cycle, from inception to exit. The Seraphim Space Accelerator 11 is currently accepting submissions. Previous graduates have included US-based Xona Space and SatelliteVu, which raised $15 million and $20 million respectively in 2022.
Rob Desborough, Managing Partner and CEO at Seraphim Space Accelerator, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the European Space Agency and share its vision to help grow Europe into a global leader within the space sector. The Seraphim Space Accelerator has a track record of providing the right expertise and leadership to help companies to achieve their growth potential. Together with the ESA, we can help European space enterprise scale at pace and help solve some of the most pressing issues across the climate, communications, mobility and cyber security industries.”
Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman, said: “We are investing up to £7bn into the UK’s world class space sector over this spending review period across Government, which is driving new technologies and high growth business across the UK. As part of that, we have committed £1.8 billion for UK participation in ESA programs at the recent Council of Ministers, and it is great to see the ESA now leveraging more private investment from partners like Seraphim. “These partnerships are vital to developing the UK’s space capabilities and maximise commercial opportunities for Britain’s fast growing space sector.”
Luca del Monte, Head of the Commercialisation department of the European Space Agency, added: “Connecting European space industry with the investors’ community is one of the key strategic goals of the ESA to stimulate the growth of a vibrant and competitive new generation of European space entrepreneurs.”