A Falcon 9 rocket booster lands after the launch of the company’s Transporter-2 rideshare mission on June 30, 2021.
Private investment in space companies reached $4.5 billion in the second quarter, an industry record, according to a report Wednesday from New York-based firm Space Capital.
“This was the biggest quarter ever for space infrastructure investments, despite only two space company SPACs closing in the second quarter,” Chad Anderson, Space Capital’s managing partner, wrote in the report.
The quarterly Space Capital report divides industry investments into three technology categories: infrastructure, distribution and application.
The first, infrastructure, includes what many would consider space companies, such as companies that build rockets and satellites. The other two categories, distribution and application, more generally include companies that rely on space technologies for their business. Distribution represents terrestrial technologies that connect to space-based networks, while the application includes space-dependent services such as ride announcement or navigation.
In total, Space Capital tracks 1,553 companies with $199.8 billion in cumulative global equity investments since 2012 in three categories.
More to follow in 2021
Infrastructure surpassed the previous quarterly record $3.9 billion in the third quarter of last year. Anderson said this year is “now on track to beat the previous annual record year” of $9.1 billion raised in 2020.
The quarter’s gains were “driven by mega-rounds” from companies like OneWeb, which raised more than $1 billion, and Relativity Space, which raised $650 million. Two SPACs merged with space companies and began trading, AST SpaceMobile and Astra, with the deals raising hundreds of millions in capital for each venture.
Anderson’s firm is closely monitoring the trend of space company SPACs, which is expected to raise more than $8 billion in capital for aerospace companies when deals close in the second half of this year.
“It’s important to note that these companies vary considerably in terms of quality and risk; most are highly speculative from a public markets perspective, with a lot of pre-revenue,” Anderson wrote. “We welcome the access to additional capital that SPACs provide, but are cautious that valuations and growth targets may be unattainable for companies that lack a defensible data angle.”
Become a smarter investor with The Washington City Times Pro.
Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to The Washington City Times TV.
Sign up to get started free trial today.