Space tech see $3.6bn investment boost as the wealthy enter the race

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Space Travel
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Space tech companies have raised a record-breaking $3.6 billion in the first six months of 2021, due to a spike in capital from billionaires’ space adventures.

In recent years, billionaire space entrepreneurs such as Mr. Jeff Bezos, Mr. Richard Branson, and Mr. Elon Musk have enhanced the public prominence of commercial space travel and increased its feasibility. The hype has fueled a flood of funding into start-ups that are developing the infrastructure to bring the new space race to reality.

According to reports, the industry is worth $200 billion and includes a wide range of buildings and products for space travel and colonization missions, as well as things for use on Earth such as satellite communications and images, Earth monitoring, and geospatial analytics. So far, the majority of the funding has come from companies working on similar technologies.

Mr. Branson completed a suborbital test flight onboard Virgin Galactic Holdings’ VSS Unity last week, while Mr. Bezos will travel to space on a rocket made by his company Blue Origin. The increased attention around the industry has helped spur innovation and a surge of capital for companies looking to lay the foundation for space infrastructure.

This kind of “space-for-space” economy, as Pitchbook analyst Mr. Ryan Vaswani called it, could aid companies like LeoLabs, which has radar sites in Alaska, Texas, New Zealand, and Costa Rica that track objects in orbit, from satellites to tiny debris, and helps to prevent collisions. Last month, Insight Partners and Velvet Sea Ventures led a $65 million round of fundraising for LeoLabs.

Related: Virgin Galactic gets crucial US FAA clearance to carry tourists to space