For almost a year, they have been measuring the new German space industry, i.e. start-ups involved in space travel. Analysts at Berlin-based consultancy Capitol Momentum have now presented a semi-annual report. “The German landscape of the new space was characterized by strong investment activity in 2021,” they write. In the first half of the year, young space companies raised nearly 100 million euros from private investors in six rounds of funding. The outcome of six more rounds is not yet known.
There are “good reasons to believe that 2021 will be another record year, both in terms of financing rounds and transaction volume”. Thus, there were only seven rounds with 308 million euros last year; In 2019, three rounds of funding generated nearly 170 million euros.
Two things in particular should be noted: Funding rounds have changed slightly – from seed level, the first official funding for founders, to Series A or Series B rounds for more developed start-ups. This indicates a “process of market maturation as well as an increased interest of venture capitalists to invest additional funds in the new German space industry”, according to the study. In addition, investments in so-called downstream companies, more concerned with the analysis of satellite data than with the construction of satellites or rockets, are increasing.
Donors from outside the industry are becoming increasingly important
According to the study, much of the money comes from venture capital firms. Of these, 75 percent of investments were made in the first half of the year, individual lead investors contributed 17 percent, and companies at least eight percent. The report also notes a “stronger participation” from investors in the traditional industry. Among other things, analysts underline the entry of Porsche SE into the Munich manufacturer of small rockets Isar Aerospace. The financial holding company of the car company, which also owns Volkswagen, announced in July that it would invest a small million euros in the start-up.
For successful companies like Isar Aerospace, an IPO would also be a logical step at some point. “It’s possible in the future, but it won’t happen until our first start,” SZ founder Daniel Metzler said a month ago. And the first flight is scheduled for 2022. “We can build the business better and faster if we are privately funded and have fewer bonds than on the stock market,” Metzler said. New Zealand-American small rocket maker Rocket Lab, which has already completed 20 launches, went public last week on the New York Stock Exchange.