Friday, June 02, 2017

Meanwhile, Back in the Real World, Here's 57 Market Driven Start-ups Charting the Final Frontier

          By Chuck Black

Back in April, as the Canadian space industry was just starting to get acquainted with the newly announced members of the Federal Space Advisory Board (SAB) who would shortly begin to "engage with Canadians to develop a new vision for Canada's space sector and define key elements of a strategy that will be launched this summer," a New York based data aggregator named CB Insights published a graphic highlighting 67 space focused companies funded by the private sector.

The Space Tech Market Map. For a larger version, simply click on the image. Graphic c/o CB Insights

As outlined in the April 24, 2017 CB Insights post, "The Space Tech Market Map: 57 Startups Charting The Final Frontier," NASA’s embrace of "private spaceflight has paved the way for private sector investments, and funding to “new space” companies has rocketed as a result."

According to the post:
... funding to space tech companies has rocketed from almost nothing in 2012, to approximately $4Bln US ($5.4Bln CDN) in combined funding over the past two years. Space tech includes startups involved in the construction and launch of satellites or rocketry into outer space, as well as ancillary companies working to aggregate and analyze satellite data
Deals to the sector have risen more than 400% between 2012-2015. In 2016, funding fell back to Earth a bit, with 40 deals across $1.5Bln US ($2Bln CDN) in funding, down from 46 and $2.3Bln US ($3.1Bln CDN) in 2015.
At least two of companies listed in the chart are Canadian.

Waterloo, Ontario based Skywatch (which won the 2014 NASA Space Apps Challenge and was most recently cited in the April 25th, 2016 post, "A Weekend at the 2016 NASA Space Apps Challenge") and Toronto, Ontario based Kepler Communications (most recently cited in the November 20th, 2016 post, "SpaceX, Telesat & Kepler Just Three of the Dozen Satellite Constellations Currently on the FCC Table.") possess substantial access to US venture markets and were also included in the list.

The data used for the chart was collected from the CB Insights database and the 57 startups were organized into three categories and eight subcategories, based on each company’s primary product, line of business, and/or current focus.

Graphic outlining the growth of government space programs from 1997 - 2016 with an estimate of future growth through 2026. Graphic c/o Euroconsult.

The private sector growth is in sharp contrast to nation space agency and government funding which, as outlined in the May 30th, 2017 Euroconsult press release, "Government Spending in Space Programs Reaches $62 Billion in 2016" have remained essentially static over the last five years, although they are expected to grow to approximately $79US ($107Bln CDN) by 2026.

According to the Euroconsult press release, "The number of countries investing in space is steadily increasing, with 70 countries in 2016, up from 47 a decade ago. In the coming years over 80 countries are planning to invest in space technologies and capabilities, showing that governments consider space a valuable investment to support their national socio-economic, strategic and technological development."

The Euroconsult data was compiled as part of its newly released research report on, "Government Space Programs: Benchmarks, Profiles & Forecasts to 2026."
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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