UK space fund lifts off with British Business Bank backing

Seraphim Capital has secured a $37m commitment from the state-owned development bank on its way to a $99m final close for the world’s first space tech-focused VC fund.

UK-based investment firm Seraphim Capital has launched the world’s first space technology-focused venture capital fund with a £50m ($62m) round featuring state-owned development bank British Business Bank (BBB).

Aerospace company Airbus has also participated in the first close for Seraphim Space Fund, for which BBB contributed £30m, the Financial Times reported.

BBB and unnamed corporates have pledged another £30m for the second financing round, which is expected to close in April 2017, bringing the fund’s targeted size to £80m. Its first investments will be made early next year, according to the FT. 

Seraphim Space Fund is the brainchild of David Williams, chief executive of satellite operator Avanti Communications and chairman of the fund’s advisory board.

Williams saw a need for a VC fund to nurture space tech companies to meet the UK government’s target, set out in the National Space Policy, to triple the size of the sector to £40bn by 2030. 

The fund will focus on early-stage companies using digital data from satellites to develop innovations across a wide range of sectors, including intelligent transport, smart cities, insurance, maritime, agriculture and oil and gas.

Intergovernmental organisation European Space Agency (ESA) has partnered the fund and will provide access to satellites as well as to potential portfolio companies through networks such as ESA’s 16 pan-European business incubators.

Michael Jones, founder of virtual map platform Google Earth and a managing partner at Seraphim, will help extend the firm’s reach to Silicon Valley.

Back

Supporting articles

Copyright Mawsonia Limited 2010. Please don't cut articles from www.globalgovernmentventuring.com or the PDF and redistribute by email or post to the web without written permission.

Most read

  1. Spire enters $70m series C orbit

    November 16, 2017

  2. Big deal: PIF puts $1bn into space companies

    October 30, 2017

  3. BioGeneration Ventures III grows to $95m

    October 31, 2017

  4. News round up 30 October 2017

    October 30, 2017

  5. Yotpo generates $51m series D

    November 10, 2017