Space tech aims for the stars with VC’s continued funding
October 25, 2022
Space tech is on track for another record year of venture investments as a ballooning number of startups–with offerings such as commercial space launch services, geospatial intelligence and satellite communications–drive commercial opportunities across the space industry. So far in 2022, VC funding for global space-tech companies has reached $6.2 billion across 112 deals, roughly on par with record capital raised in 2021, according to PitchBook data.
Several recent deals highlight investors’ appetite to support diverse space technologies:
- SpaceX has raised multiple deals for a total of more than $3.6 billion this year, according to PitchBook data. The company is reportedly preparing for the maiden orbital flight of Starship, its rocket meant for eventual travel to Mars, in November.
- ICEYE is an operator of the world’s largest constellation of synthetic aperture radar satellites, capable of imaging the planet. Based in Finland, the geospatial intelligence company plans to further develop its product line in natural catastrophe detection and add to its fleet in orbit. In February, ICEYE raised a $136 million Series D led by Seraphim Space.
- Hadrian, a Los Angeles-area manufacturer of critical precision components for aerospace and defense industries, raised $90 million in a round co-led by Lux Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. The company intends to build largely automated factories to reduce the cost of making rockets, satellites, jets and drones.
- Firefly Aerospace is a manufacturer of launch vehicles designed to provide convenient access to space. In March, the company raised $75 million at a more than $1.2 billion valuation, according to PitchBook data.
- UK-based FocalPoint Positioning is a developer of a supercorrelation technology that uses chips for Global Navigation Satellite Systems applications, designed to help security agencies detect fake signals used by criminal networks, maritime pirates and fraudsters. The company raised £15 million (around $17.2 million) in September, according to reports.