That's far out: UK investment firm launches £80m space tech fund

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The UK space sector is worth an estimated £12bn a year to the economy (Source: Getty)

A UK investment firm has today launched an £80m space-tech venture fund.

Seraphim Capital said the fund, which will focus on early-stage, space-related technology businesses, is the largest of its kind.

The company expects to have raised the £80m over the next two quarters, and today announced a £30m investment from the British Business Bank alongside capital from international space companies, family offices and individual investors.

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The fund will invest in software and hardware opportunities, as well as technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanomaterials.

In particular, Seraphim said the fund would focus on companies that use digital data from satellites.

“As satellites get smaller, smarter and less expensive to launch, our reliance on them is growing exponentially,” said Seraphim’s chief executive Mark Boggett.

“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.”

According to the company, the average Briton interacts with a satellite 30 times a day, and this is projected to increase to 300 within five years.

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Boggett added: “There are exciting development opportunities emerging from very promising start-ups and we very much look forward to investing and supporting the best of these.”

“The UK space sector is already a major success story, representing a £12bn industry that has ambitious targets to triple in size over the next 15 years,” said British Business Bank chief executive Keith Morgan.

“Providing the best space-related start-ups with the funding they need to grow into global players will be a vital component if these targets are to be met.

“Through its combination of industry heavy-hitters, leading space-tech entrepreneurs and partnerships with the likes of the European Space Agency, we believe that the Seraphim Space Fund will be ideally placed to help make this vision a reality.”