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Space Tech Sees Investment Boost With Billionaire Space Missions

Space tech companies, seeing a boost in capital from billionaires’ space adventures as of late, have raised a record-shattering $3.6 billion in the first six months of 2021, Bloomberg reported Monday (July 19).

Venture capital investment in those types of companies hit $5.5 billion in all of 2020. The 2021 numbers are just across 94 deals in the first six months this year and will likely be on pace to surpass last year’s numbers.

The interest in space technology has been piqued by the missions of billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to venture into space. Branson did his mission last week, a suborbital test flight on his Virgin Galactic VSS Unity. Bezos is making his separate journey on Tuesday (July 20).

Because of that, space tech companies have been looking at building more infrastructure to keep space exploration going. The industry, according to Bloomberg, is worth $200 billion and encompasses various kinds of buildings of products for space travel and colonization missions, along with things to use on Earth like satellite communications and imagery, Earth monitoring and geospatial analytics. Most of the capital has come from companies working on those kinds of tech so far.

But now, as ambitions are raising for more robust exploring of outer space, there is likely to be more funding for other kinds of space technology.

This kind of “space-for-space” economy, as it was called by Pitchbook analyst Ryan Vaswani, could help out companies like LeoLabs, which works on tracking objects in orbit. LeoLabs raised $65 million in new funding in June, led by Insight Partners and Velvet Sea Ventures.

Not all space exploration companies have been doing well. Momentus, one such company, was recently charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for reportedly misleading investors on how much testing and analysis was done. The company and its investors both repeatedly claimed their tests had been successful and properly reviewed, when in reality this was not the case, the SEC said.

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