2016 Investments Soar Straight into Space

The year past has shown that the time is ready for space investments. Our ESA BIC Bavaria startups have raised record funding, with more than 30 Million Euro invested into the young companies. Among these are the three high-flyers Lilium, Reactive Robotics and Cevotec. In addition, the launch of the new crowd investing platform SpaceStarters by FunderNation together with AZO, hails a new era for space investments.

The New Space Economy and technology transfer from space spur innovations in multiple key economic sectors. What sounds like science fiction has already become reality: the landing of Rosetta on a distant comet has recently shown that technological hurdles are brilliantly mastered by engineers.

With the entry of private investors, “Space Exploration” is becoming increasingly interesting for commercial business models. From asteroid mineral mining, construction of a lunar basis with 3D printing, manufacturing reusable rocket stages and new space shuttles to manned missions to Mars – space offers plenty of room for entrepreneurial activities.

More down to Earth, the growth markets of the space industry are the manifold applications of satellite communication, Earth observation and navigation. According to the OECD, the market volume amounts to 146 billion US dollars with great growth potential (7-8 percent in the areas of navigation and Earth observation) for companies and investors. The target markets include the entertainment industry, transport & logistics, the automotive sector or the utility industry just to name a few – which hugely benefit from new digital business models for satellite-based applications.

Investments for Space Startups

Future mobility, robotics and materials are three space-related sectors with tremendous technology transfer – and market potential. With strong business models, three visionary startups from AZO’s incubator ESA BIC Bavaria convinced investors in 2016 to invest into the next generation of space innovations: an electric aircraft, medical robots for early mobilisation and a new production process for carbon composites.

Lilium Aviation raises EUR 10 Million in Series A round with Atomico to develop electric planes capable of Vertical Take-off and Landing

ReActive Robotics Completed Seven-Digit Investment Round to revolutionise early movement rehabilitation in the health sector 

Cevotec Completed Investment Round with EUR 1.75 Million to industrialise the production of complex carbon composites

New Crowd Investing Platform for Disruptive New Space Companies

SpaceStarters – the crowd investing platform for disruptive space companies – was recently launched by AZO together with FunderNation and unites profound market knowledge with expertise in venture capital.

Space-specific technologies are both, highly innovative and of high quality standards. In space, products and technology are exposed to harsh conditions. Solar and cosmic radiation causes construction materials to age and grow fragile at record pace. Significant differences in temperature add further stress. Thus, to ensure reliable operation, in no other sector the test criteria and quality requirements are tougher. This benefits other sectors, which can make use of products and applications originally developed for space. More and more investors recognise the high quality of space technologies – and are ready to invest in this innovation driving field.

The News Space Economy is full of potential. This is why SpaceStarters offers crowd investment opportunities specifically dedicated to this promising sector. It will provide investors the potential to participate in visionary companies as pioneers and in trendsetting sectors. Early adopters get the chance to make huge revenues from the next big thing in space innovation.

The SpaceStarters launch campaign unites both, a solid business based on high-quality space technologies and the visionary spirit of real space pioneers. Deep Space Industries (DSI) generates strong revenues with satellite-based technologies and an impressive customer base. This provides them with strong backing for realising their vision they are working on: asteroid mining.

Especially the past 20 years have shown that success stories are written were visions are lived. And as every investor knows, timing is everything. For space, the right time is now!


About ESA Business Incubation Centre Bavaria

The ESA BIC Bavaria seeks entrepreneurs using space technologies in a non-space environment. That does not mean rocket science, but applies to multiple application fields such as navigation and positioning, communications techniques, Earth observation, materials, processes, signals or robotics.
ESA’s Business Incubation Centre Bavaria was launched in 2009 and is since managed by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO). ESA BIC Bavaria and its renowned partners – DLR, Airbus Defense and Space, Fraunhofer IIS and Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Berchtesgadener Land – provide startups with financial and technical support at four branch offices: Oberpfaffenhofen, Ottobrunn, Nürnberg and Berchtesgadener Land.

ESA BIC Bavaria has four selection rounds each year. The next application deadline for the incubation programme is 01 March 2017. Apply now for ESA BIC Bavaria


About AZO – Space of Innovation

AZO has established a global network for innovation and entrepreneurship. It supports product innovation and company foundations in the field of commercial space applications along the entire value chain – from the idea all the way to market entry. AZO has extensive experience in organising innovation competitions such as the European Satellite Navigation Competition, the Copernicus Masters (Earth observation), the StartupWorld Awards (laser photonics and robotics), as well as the INNOspace Masters (New Space Economy), app developer camps and conferences, and manages ESA BIC Bavaria.


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