The space sector has seen a record-breaking number of special purpose acquisition company (SPACS) deals announced in the first quarter of 2021, worth more than $7 billion collectively, according to research conducted by Seraphim Capital.
According to the Seraphim space index, a quarterly tracker of fund deals within the sector, $7.7 billion of private finance was invested across SpaceTech companies in the whole of 2020. Meanwhile, 11 space-related companies have announced their intention for SPAC deals in Q1 2021. This contrasts to just six in total before 2021 - totalling $7.2 billion of scheduled equity funding.
2021 already looks set to be another record year of venture investment with $2.7 billion closed in the first quarter of this year compared to $1.6 billion in the same period of 2020. The first quarter of this year marks the third consecutive quarter where total investment has been above $2.5 billion. Seraphim expect investment in the first half of 2021 to be more than double that of 2020.
Seraphim’s analysis also illustrates that overall venture capital investment into the sector in the last year was 95 percent higher than in the 12 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Europe has also continued to close the gap on North America in terms of average deal sizes, courtesy of significant transactions including large deals such as OneWeb, and Volocopter.
The specialist investment group believes that the findings are a ‘watershed moment’, which reveal the investment potential of SpaceTech, and demonstrate that SPACs are the main means for investors to access the required capital to fulfil their ambitions.
James Bruegger, chief investment officer of Seraphim Capital, said: “We believe SpaceTech is at the nexus of mega-trends that will define societal change over forthcoming decades and has a unique role to play in addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Radical advances in the Space sector mean a data and connectivity tsunami is about to transform the world as we know it, driving the next major paradigm shift in the global economy. Having so far largely weathered the worst of the impact of the downturn, the New Space economy is now primed for further strong growth in 2021 and beyond.”
The released data follows the announcement that Spire Global, one of Seraphim Capital’s portfolio companies have announced a merger with special-purpose acquisition company NavSight valuing the company at $1.6 billion. The deal gives Spire about $475 million in cash to accelerate data-gathering and analysis operations across maritime, aviation, weather, climate, and other markets.