London-based Seraphim Capital has announced their intention to raise an enormous seed-stage fund of £80 million ($100 million) for space technology projects. The fund will have a wide list of priorities as technology applicable to space really is a cross-industrial effort that covers nanomaterials, AI, software, and hardware.
The effort is already well under way, having secured £50 million thus far from the British Business Bank and a collection of other investors from around the world. The fund has already opened for business, as it were.
It will also have the support of the Satellite Applications Catapult and London Business Angels’s new project UK Space Tech Angels. Google Earth Founder Michael Jones will take a role as the fund’s managing partner.
“As satellites get smaller, smarter and less expensive to launch, our reliance on them is growing exponentially,” Seraphim CEO Mark Boggett said upon announcing the new funds. “Many of the emerging new technologies that are moulding the future – from drones and autonomous vehicles to the Internet of Things – are ultimately underpinned by digital data from satellites.”
Previous investments from the fund include Sirigen, Aria Networks, and Pyreos. Backers like TestPlant, Miiriad, Intamac, and Cognitive Match have also backed a number of Seraphim’s portfolio companies as well.
Besides Boggett, the fund is also led by Chairman/Director Kit Hunter Gordon, managing partners Paul Thomas, Anthony Clarke, and Michael Jones, as well as portfolio director James Bruegger.
Boggett spoke in grandiose terms about what he saw as an inevitable explosion in space-bound technology.
“Just as low cost personal computing in the 1990’s and the internet in the 2000’s 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.”
“There are exciting development opportunities emerging from very promising startups and we very much look forward to investing and supporting the best of these.”
The European Space Agency (ESA) is also involved and is looking forward to seeing some of its projects funded through the new war chest.
“ESA’s cooperation with Seraphim Capital offers space companies, start-ups and ESA-incubated companies a new conduit to funding beyond ESA,” said Amnon Ginati in a press release, a Seraphim Advisory Board member who is also ESA’s senior advisor to the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.
Mentioning that Seraphim has been the leading investor for ESA-sponsored projects, he added that the “ESA makes no financial contribution to the Seraphim fund. ESA’s role is to recommend suitable candidates and act as a facilitator, and these efforts are paid for by the fund.”