The Italian space agency has put its weight behind a $93m fund that will launch by the end of the year to invest in spinouts, startups and SMEs in the space economy.

Italy-based venture capital firm Primomiglio is set to launch an €80m ($93m) fund by the end of this year to invest in space technology companies, Startup Business reported yesterday.

The fund, Astra Ventures, has attracted the Italian Space Agency, ASI, as a cornerstone investor and will invest in spinouts, startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. It aims to be fully operational and make its first investments in 2019.

The vehicle will invest both in companies developing spatial infrastructure and in businesses creating terrestrial applications derived from space technologies. Matteo Cascinari will lead Astra Ventures.

The E. Amaldi Foundation, an organisation co-founded by ASI to support scientific research aimed at tech transfer in the space sector, will offer scouting and advisory support to Cascinari and his investment team.

Roberto Battiston, president of ASI, said: “The Italian Space Agency very much believes in venture capital to develop the space economy.

“Our approach, which has always held up scientific, technological and industrial excellences, lacked the fourth and important leg of new financial instruments, which together with the model of public-private partnerships, are the future of the new space economy.” [translated from Italian by Global University Venturing]

– This article first appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.