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UK-based VC Seraphim Capital launches £80m space tech investment fund

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UK-based Seraphim Capital has announced the launch of its early-stage £80m space tech venture fund.

Targeting an £80m final close over the next two quarters, Seraphim Capital’s fund has already secured £50m at first close from the British Business Bank, international space companies, family offices and individual investors.

The fund will seek to invest in commercial applications (both software and hardware), as well as in technologies that have potential space applications such as AI, nanomaterials and robotics.

2016: A year in UK tech

Speaking about the launch of Seraphim Space Fund, Mark Boggett, CEO said: “As satellites get smaller, smarter and less expensive to launch, our reliance on them is growing exponentially. 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.”

A long-term perspective

Boggett then went on to say that the average person in the UK interacted with a satellite 30 times a day, and that this figure was thought to rise to 300 within the next five years, and to 3,000 by the end of the decade.

He continued: “Just as low cost personal computing in the 1990’s and the internet in the 2000’s acted as a catalyst for waves of new technology innovations, the evidence is that low cost access to space will come to define the decade ahead. There are exciting development opportunities emerging from very promising startups and we very much look forward to investing and supporting the best of these.”

Michael Jones, founder of Google Earth and the tech giant’s former chief technology advocate, who joined the fund as managing partner, will work to ensure that investments are made in Silicon Valley.

In the UK, the fund will be backed by the Satellite Applications Catapult and will be supporting the creation of UK Space Tech Angels, a new venture from London Business Angels.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, commented on the news: “The UK is a world-leader in science and research, and as we build our ambitious Industrial Strategy it is crucial that we build on our strengths, such as satellites.

“The plans set out in the National Space Policy will grow the value of the UK space sector to £40 billion by 2030. The launch of the Seraphim Space Fund today, backed by the British Business Bank, goes even further and will cement our place at the heart of the space and satellite technology and startup revolution,” concluded Clark.

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