Space tech fund achieves lift-off

London-based Seraphim Capital has launched the world’s largest early stage space-related technology investment vehicle, backed by a £30 million (€34.8 million) investment from the British Business Fund and leading international space companies.

The Seraphim Space Fund will invest in commercial applications in both space software and machinery, as well as in technologies that have potential space applications such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanomaterials.

To identify opportunities, the fund has entered into partnership the European Space Agency (ESA), providing it access to relevant space infrastructures, companies with a portfolio of relevant projects, as well as companies in ESA’s 16 pan-European business incubators.

Michael Jones, founder of Google Earth and Google’s former chief technology advocate, has joined the fund as a managing partner, and will assist with fundraising in Silicon Valley.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, said the UK’s National Space Policy will grow the value of the UK space sector to £40 billion by 2030, and the launch of the fund would help further this standing.

Mark Boggett, Seraphim Capital chief executive, said that as satellites get smaller and less expensive to launch, reliance on them is growing exponentially, with many emerging technologies – such as drones and driverless cars – underpinned by data gleaned from satellites.

“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 3,000.  Just as low cost personal computing in the 1990s and the internet in the 2000s 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,” he added.

©2016 funds europe

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