Thursday, January 18, 2018

Private Investors Poured $3.9Bln into Commercial Space Companies Last Year

          By Henry Stewart

According to the New York, NY based Space Angels, a privately held financial services group of angel investors focused exclusively on the aerospace industry, private investors poured $3.9Bln US ($4.85Bln CDN) into commercial space companies last year.

The Q4 2017 Space Investment Quarterly, a listing of private sector venture capital investment in the space industry compiled quarterly by the Space Angels, which served as the source for the CNBC post. According to the listing, "2017 was a record year for the Space industry on multiple fronts including amount of investment, number of venture capital investors, and number of new privately-funded companies." The complete document is available for download on request from the Space Angels website. Images c/o Space Angels.

As outlined in the January 18th, 2018 CNBC post, "Space companies received $3.9 billion in private investment during 'the year of commercial launch': Report," a record 120 private firms made investments in space in 2017, well over the previous peak of 89 in 2015.

According to the article:
... the vast majority of private space investment has come as the government has reeled in its spending in recent years. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted in October that the space industry would reach at least $2.7 trillion in the next three decades, up from about $350Bln US ($435Bln CDN) today.
The post quoted Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson who called 2017 "2017 the year of commercial launch... The amount of capital put in was the key turning point."

In essence, and as outlined in the article, "the entrepreneurial space age is well underway."

An fiscal overview of 2017 space activities. According to the Space Angels, the firm completed "a record number of investments from our angel fund and closed our first investment from our venture fund. The team continues to see high quality investment opportunities across all market segments and we plan to increase both the number of deals and size of our investments in the year ahead. Strong fundamentals have us extremely optimistic about the continued growth of the industry being driven by the rise of commercial manned space flight, scaling of small launch vehicles and the demonstration of in-space manufacturing." Graphic c/o Space Angels.

The last eight years have also seen around $25Bln US ($31Bln CDN) in exits, as acquisitions and public offerings help to build out the fiscal ecosystem needed to support private sector venture capital investments at all levels.

The Space Angels investment portfolio includes cube-sat deployer Nanoracks, rocket builder Vector Space Systems, asteroid miner Planetary Resources and satellite start-ups Iceye and Planet.

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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