Europe has surpassed the US in space tech private investments for the first time, with a record-breaking number of deals in the first quarter of 2023.
The region's investment in 2023 "seems poised to match or even exceed 2022 levels given that Q1 is almost 50% of the previous year already", said the quarterly review of global private investments 'Seraphim Space Index' by space tech investor Seraphim Space.
In contrast to Europe, data showed US investment falling further compared to last year. And Asia, the only region to see growth last year, is now witnessing a decrease in activity in 2023.
Total investment in the first quarter of this year reached $1.4 billion, up 75% from $801 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Although space tech investment has decreased since the record highs of 2021 and 2022, Q1 2023 still ranks as the fifth highest funding quarter to date, the report said.
The quarter also saw the highest number of deals in a year, with 128 deals closed in the first quarter. Whereas from Q3 to Q4 2022, space tech deals stood at approximately 106 deals per quarter.
The top ten space tech deals in Q1 comprised 15% of the total sector investment, most of which were in capital-intensive subsectors.
The report said Europe played a "key role in driving Q1's rebound", leading to the region's growing prominence in space tech.
The space tech specialist said that a record-breaking number of deals in the first quarter and a rebound in investment this year after a "pullback" in 2022 signal a substantial appeal in space tech from private and public market investors.
In January, Euronext launched its first European space-related index to track the performance of European companies in the space sector.
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