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Catalysing private sector funding for the space sector

The Catapult has been instrumental in helping us achieve… (the launch of Seraphim Space Camp), providing a huge amount of value to our start-ups. Furthermore, their sector specific knowledge and insight is essential to the growing UK & global Space industries.

Matt O’Connell
Partner, Seraphim Space Camp

When the Satellite Applications Catapult was created, one of its first priorities was to address the lack of private finance in the sector. By working with the investment community to educate them about space, the need for a dedicated venture capital fund was established, and by working with the British Business Bank the Catapult stimulated the development of the first dedicated fund committed to investing in innovative companies in the UK Space Sector.

The Seraphim Space Fund, which was set up to invest in commercial applications in both software and hardware opportunities, as well as in technologies that have potential space applications such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanomaterials, made its first investments in 2017.

Today, the Seraphim Space Fund has just completed an IPO, raising a further £178.4 million, and retaining its focus to invest in early and growth stage Space Tech businesses.

The fund continues to be a game changer for the sector, and its very presence in the financial ecosystem is a significant achievement which gives confidence to a wider set of UK financial investors.

The success of the fund has also generated further financial interest in the sector with organisations such as UK Space Tech Angels joining the investor ecosystem. In April 2022, the Type One Ventures fund was launched in London with a $50m initial fund size, looking to invest in innovative companies in the UK space sector. Additionally, companies supported by Satellite Applications Catapult have gone on to raise over £250m, driving untold growth in the space sector.