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Seraphim: High growth in space activity

February 8, 2023

Space-focused investment business Seraphim, which this week partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA), has issued its annual map of how it sees the complete space business. It sees itself as a ‘space accelerator’ and its Seraphim Space Investment Trust targets early and growth stage Space Tech companies that have the potential to dominate globally and that are sector leaders with first-mover advantages in areas such as climate, communications, mobility and cyber security.

Seraphim says that interest in space technology is sky high, and even though overall investment last year fell back the industry still attracted inward investment of some $8.9 billion in 2022.

Moreover, the seed cash coming into the space sector has risen by some 50 per cent y-o-y.

The new link with ESA is designed so that 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 £8 billion of investment in 2022.

Seraphim Space’s new ecosystem map for 2023 for the “in-space economy” which identifies over 250 companies covering everything from services and infrastructure supporting satellites in space to the lunar economy and space R&D and manufacturing.

Mark Boggett, CEO at Seraphim Space, said: “Space tech is now truly international, with Asia and Europe starting to catch up with North America in terms of number of deals. Asia was up 80 per cent compared with 2021 and Europe up 50 per cent. To put this into perspective, both saw more deals in 2022 than North America did in 2020.”

Whilst these are nascent markets, the Seraphim Space Index highlighted that these sectors experienced the highest growth in investment in 2022. Many established space companies, from SpaceX to Lockheed Martin to Northrop Grumman, are participating in these sectors. The map is a useful tool for anyone investing or seeking to understand future growth markets developing in the space domain.

Seraphim says that, for example, the ‘Orbital Tugs’ sector now has 19 active businesses, such is the appeal. Separately, but in a near-related sector, it identifies 14 companies focusing on Orbital servicing and life extension/refuelling of satellites and which intend to help satellites live longer by providing power or fuel while in orbit.

However, with a fast-growing number of low and medium-earth orbit satellites already in place and planned to be launched over the next two-to-three years, there is growing interest Debris Removal of craft and/or what Seraphim describes as “dead satellites”. There are eight businesses operating in planning for these tasks.

Seraphim also identifies businesses in Lunar logistics (10), Lunar landers (15) and habitats (6) and resource utilisation (7).

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