Space startups funding continues to recover as investors bet on government spending


FILE PHOTO: SpaceX logo and Elon Musk silhouette are seen in this illustration taken, December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -Space startups attracted $2.41 billion in global investments from April to June, marking a third consecutive quarter of growth in funding, according to British investment firm Seraphim Space.

WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

This positive trend follows a period of high interest rates that had deterred investors from funding companies involved in rockets, satellites and space-based data services.

Companies such as SpaceX and Planet Labs have become increasingly vital as geopolitical tensions drive countries to spend more on satellite-based imagery and assets for intelligence gathering and communications.

CONTEXT

Investments in Europe were flat from the prior quarter, while in North America, they were down about 50%. However, deals are often announced after the end of a quarter and it is too early to tell whether a decline in the United States suggests a weak 2024, or a bumpy recovery, the space technology investment firm said.

The strong quarter was propelled by a $943 million investment in Shanghai Spacecom Satellite Technology, the largest Chinese space tech deal to date.

This development reflects a growing determination among Chinese investors to rival U.S. capabilities in space, the report said.

KEY QUOTE

"I'm optimistic in predicting that at least in terms of growth, space investment market in 2025 is going to be better than 2024 because unfortunately I don't really see the geopolitical challenges around the world resolving themselves in the course of the next 18 months," said James Bruegger, chief investment officer at Seraphim Space.

BY THE NUMBERS

Global space investments of $2.41 billion in the second quarter were higher than the $2.39 billion in the January-March period and the $1.16 billion a year earlier, according to Seraphim Space.

Space companies saw investments worth $8.5 billion in the 12 months ended June this year, up from the $5.1 billion in the corresponding year-ago period.

GRAPHICS

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)

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