Investments in space startups reaches new heights

Report: Start-up Space, Update on Investment in Commercial Space Ventures 2021. Credit: BryceTech.

BryceTech has released its 2021 Start-up Space, Update on Investment in Commercial Space Ventures which shows that $7.6 billion was invested in startups in 2020, up from $6.5 billion in 2019. Of note, this data does not include investments yet to be announced.

Magnitude Invested in Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit BryceTech.
Magnitude Invested in Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit BryceTech.

According to BryceTech’s numbers, $36.7 billion have been invested in startups between 2000 and 2020. Of that figure, $26.2 billion, or 72%, has been invested since 2015. These are heady numbers for those in the industry. However, some context is needed. To start, nine companies accounted for 80% of the funds in 2020. That’s $6.08 billion. The balance, $1.52 billion, was split between 115 startups.

The nine companies that split that $6.08 billion were SpaceX (80%), OneWeb (14%), Blue Origin (13%), Relativity (7%), Virgin Galactic (6%), CG Satellite (China – 5%), Landspace (China – 2%), ispace (China – 2%) and Kymeta (2%).

Magnitude Invested in US and Non-US Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit: BryceTech.
Magnitude Invested in US and Non-US Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit: BryceTech.

An interesting data point is that the number of non-US investors is increasing. Between 2000-2020, US investors accounted for 44% of investments. However, by 2020 that number had shrunk to 36% even as total investment dollars were rising steadily. This is a positive sign as it shows that investors from other countries are increasingly supporting the sector.

nvestors in Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit: BryceTech.
Investors in Start-up Space Companies 2000 – 2020. Credit: BryceTech.

Some other highlights:

  • A total of 140 start-up space deals were recorded.
  • United States start-ups accounted for 67% (~$5.1B) of investment in 2020. Of all companies that received investment in 2020, 38% were located within the U.S. Of the 342 investors in start-up space companies, 36% were based in the U.S.
  • Non-US startups receiving funds surpassed US recipients in 2019 and 2020.
  • Two Canadian companies received investments from two or more space-focused VC’s; Kepler Communications and SkyWatch.
  • While some space companies have gone public via SPAC in the past (Iridium 2008, Avio 2016), a surge has been visible since Virgin Galactic merged with Social Capital Hedosophia in Oct 2019.
  • SPACs are included in this report in the year they begin trading publicly post merger.
Announced Space SPAC Deals. Credit: BryceTech.
Announced Space SPAC Deals. Credit: BryceTech.

You can download the report at BryceTech.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 28 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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