ESPI: Another Record-Breaking Year for European Space Startups

 ESPI: Another Record-Breaking Year for European Space Startups

In the latest issue of the ESPI Insights Newsletter, European Space Policy Institute director Jean-Jacques Tortosa shows how the European space startups sector is still on the rise!

Read the March 2022 issue of ESPI Insights here

2021 was a record breaking year for space startups

Tortora: “2021 proved to be another record-breaking year for European Space start-ups. 2020 had already broken a trend marked by a plateauing of investments of around 200 million per year by reaching a total of €535 million. 2021 saw this volume increase even further to €611.5 million spread over another record breaking 86 deals.

Furthermore, this is a conservative estimate as 15 transactions were not disclosed. It should also be noted that investments into OneWeb were not included as it is not included within our definition of a start-up.

Investments and deals for European space startups 2014-2021 (source: ESPI)

Top-5 European Space Startups deals

The top five the deals of 2021 constituted 61.5% of the total raised over the year:

  • Arqit (€80.6 million): The UK-based quantum encryption company raised €80.6 million in net proceeds following its “successful” SPAC merger with Centricus Acquisition Corp in September.
  • Isotropic Systems (€64.8 million): Also, the UK-based broadband services start-up, Isotropic Systems secured a total of 64 million in its series B funding raising funds in February and September. With rounds led by SES and Seraphim but also supported by UKSA and the UK government’s Future Funds.
  • Isar Aerospace (€57 million): The Munich-based small launcher Isar Aerospace raised an additional 57million in a round led by HV Capital bringing its total funding to date to €140 million.
  • Astrocast (€41.2 million): The Swiss IoT company completed its IPO on August 25th and raised 42.2 million in a pre-IPO placement. The funding round was led by Adit Ventures and included Venture Capital firm Primo Space as well as Palantir.
  • Satlantis (€30.5 million): The Spanish Earth Observation start-up Satlantis raised €30.5 million in its Series B funding over two rounds with the financing led by Enagás as well as the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Center for the development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).

Questions could already be raised as to whether this growth is likely to continue in 2022, however deals into ICEYE, Descartes Underwriting, Sylvera, Sateliot and Aerospacelab show that an incredible 306 million have already been raised in the first two months of 2022. As such, we can expect another outstanding year for European NewSpace in 2022.”

Subscribe to ESPI Insights

About ESPI

ESPI is the European think-tank for space. The Institute is a not-for-profit organization based in Vienna, World capital of space diplomacy, providing decision-makers with an informed view on mid to long-term issues relevant to Europe’s space activities since 2003.

ESPI is supervised by a General Assembly of member organizations and supported by an Advisory Council of independent high-level experts.

ESPI fulfils its objectives through various multi-disciplinary research activities leading to the publication of books, reports, papers, articles, executive briefs, proceedings and position papers, and to the organisation of conferences and events including the annual ESPI Autumn Conference.

Remco Timmermans

Related post