Seraphim Capital has just launched the world’s largest early-stage space-sector venture fund. The London-based VC is targeting an €94 million final close during the next two quarters and is backed by a €35 million investment from the British Business Bank made under its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme. It is the 22nd fund in this programme, which now has a total investment capacity of €916 million. Also leading international space companies, family offices and individual investors have taken part in the fund.
The fund will invest in commercial applications in both downstream (software) and upstream (hardware) opportunities, as well as in technologies that have potential space applications such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanomaterials. It will focus on companies that use digital data from satellites that is already delivering commercial advantage and social innovations ranging from intelligent transport and smart cities through to sectors such as insurance, maritime, agriculture or oil and gas. The fund has strategic partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) providing access to relevant space infrastructures, companies with a portfolio of hundreds of downstream application projects as well as companies in ESA’s 16 pan-European business incubators.
Mark Boggett, Seraphim Capital’s CEO stated: “The average person in the UK interacts with a satellite 30 times per day. Within five years we see that figure reaching 300 and by the end of the decade it is going to reach 3000. Just as low cost personal computing in the 1990’s and the internet in the 2000’s acted as a catalyst for waves of new technology innovations, the evidence is that low cost access to space will come to define the decade ahead. There are exciting development opportunities emerging from very promising startups and we very much look forward to investing and supporting the best of these.“