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top european spacetech vc funds by vestbee.com
06 March 2024·16 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

Top European Spacetech VC Funds to Invest In Your Startup

As the spacetech sector has been rapidly developing in recent years, more and more startups are embarking on their astronomical journey to outer space. Spacetech has reached a whopping $469 billion valuation in 2021 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11% until 2030, as reported by Dealroom. Even in the face of an overall dip in European VC funding in 2023, the space upstream sector, focusing on space operations and product development, stood strong, outperforming both its 2022 records and the broader deeptech sector.

Spacetech might still be a small slice of the VC funding pie, but its growth is impressive — the number of corporations investing in this sector has tripled since 2020. In this article, we will dive deeper into the top spacetech VC funds that are shaping the European aerospace landscape. 

Spacetech-focused VCs

Expansion Aerospace Ventures

Expansion, is a European venture capital firm, focused on supporting New Space and New Air Mobility entrepreneurs from pre-seed to Series B, prioritizing European sovereignty. With a multi-vertical strategy, Expansion aims to build a portfolio of 30-40 companies, allocating 15%-20% for initial investments and 80%-85% for follow-on investments.

In New Space, the firm sees value in technological advancements and innovation despite challenges, emphasizing the role of deep tech entrepreneurs in unlocking the sector's potential. Expansion recognizes the need for decarbonized aviation, supporting innovations in hydrogen, electric-powered aircraft, eVTOLs, and drones for various commercial applications.

Rymdkapital

Rymdkapital is a Swedish venture capital firm that specializes in strategic investments within the space industry, with a focus on propelling a sustainable and multi-faceted space ecosystem.

Since its inception in January 2020, the firm has invested in notable ventures, including the US-Swedish rocket launcher Pythom  and the Swedish investment company Space Cowboys AB. Rymdkapital goal is to attract specialists, frontier tech, and investors to support the Nordic ecosystem.. 

Primo Ventures

Primo Space Fund, a spacetech arm of Italian VC Primo Ventures, specializes in early-stage investments within the space tech sector. Launched in July 2020, the fund closed at approximately €86 million in February 2022. Focused on space infrastructure and related technologies, their investment scope ranges from smaller tickets for low-TRL startups to up to €5 million in a single company.

While favoring Italian companies, it also invests in startups across the EU, UK, Switzerland, Israel, and the US. Primo Space Fund provides a strategic avenue for talented pioneers in the Space Tech sector, aiming to transform innovative projects with scalable potential into successful ventures.

Einstein Industries Ventures 

Einstein Industries Ventures is a Berlin-based venture capital firm,that invests in companies at the forefront of the shift towards green and digital business models, particularly within the field of New Space. In addition to capital, the firm brings industry networking opportunities to its portfolio companies, connecting them with strategic partners, potential customers, corporate buyers, and experienced operators.

As a partner of the European Space Agency (ESA), Einstein Industries Ventures aligns its mission to ensure Europe's independence in accessing space-generated data. 

Karista Ventures

Karista, a Parisian early-stage venture capital firm established in 2001, is a strategic investor in health, digital, tech, and NewSpace. With a history of backing and guiding over 100 European companies in various sectors for the past two decades, Karista manages three European early-stage funds, including a dedicated spacetech fund.

The firm's mission centers on finding, funding, and supporting leading space tech companies that impact the entire space value chain, from system development to data collection, processing, and communication. Karista offers initial investments ranging from €500,000 to €2.5 million, primarily focusing on seed and Series A stages. As a long-term financial partner, Karista continues to invest up to €6 million in a follow-on rounds. 

Deep Ocean Capital

Deep Ocean Capital is an Italian early-stage venture capital investor, supporting deep tech technologies that create economic value with the broader ecosystem. The firm emphasizes its role in capturing the enormous value created by deep technology-oriented innovations, aligning its mission with the establishment of the deeptech Factory Model.

Deep Ocean Capital's investment strategy is all about seed-stage investments, where it acts as the lead investor, and selected Series A opportunities, particularly in aerospace, healthcare technologies, sustainable mobility, and synthetic biology. The firm is technology-centric, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and related software deep technologies, such as NLU/NLP and Visual Computing, as well as innovative computing platforms like edge computing and Quantum computing.

NewSpace Capital

NewSpace Capital is a Luxembourg-based private equity firm that specializes in growth-stage investments within the space and space-related industries. The firm leverages its extensive global network to access exclusive deals in the rapidly evolving space sector.

By investing in the "picks & shovels" of the Space Rush, namely the supply chain and downstream segments, NewSpace Capital mitigates risk, targeting leading companies with established revenues and unique market positions. Recognizing the intrinsic link between space development and global industries, from agriculture and mining to banking, consumer internet, autonomous driving, 5G networks, and 4.0 industrial applications, the firm positions itself as a catalyst for future industry growth.

Alpine Space Ventures

Alpine Space Ventures is a Munich-based investment fund manager in the New Space sector. The fund selectively invests in up to 15 Series A startups, providing an initial funding ticket of €1-5 million, coupled with the potential for larger investments throughout the company's lifespan. What sets Alpine Space Ventures apart is its team's extensive technical and industry expertise, accrued over 50 collective years at SpaceX and within the European New Space ecosystem.

The fund's primary areas of concentration are companies that are working on technologies and approaches that have the potential to revolutionize not only the space industry but also a wide range of other industries. 

Herius Capital

Headquartered in Budapest, Herius Capital is a pioneering European venture capital firm focused on driving technological advancements in the spacetech sector. Its investments in  space technologies aim to shape the trajectory of society's future.

With a seasoned team of investors, space experts, and engineers, Heriurs Capital specializes in backing early-stage companies with a focal point in Europe, providing them with anaccess to the CEE and SEE markets. Its hands-on approach goes beyond traditional investing, fostering micro-ecosystems within the dynamic New Space industry. 

OTB Ventures

OTB Ventures is a leading European venture capital firm specializing in deeptech investments. It operates from two offices in Warsaw, Poland, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, which gives them an advantage in accessing deal flow from Central and Eastern Europe.

OTB Ventures focuses on early growth startups in the late seed, Series A, and Series B stages, investing in companies that develop technologies in four key verticals: spacetech, AI & Automation, fintech, and cbersecurity.  The fundthrives on complexity and challenge conventional definitions, coining the term Real Tech to describe sophisticated, multi-faceted, and paradigm-shifting technologies. 

Seraphim Space

Operating out of the UK, Seraphim Space is one of the leading specialist investors, dedicated to the spacetech sector. Its industry impact is proven through aportfolio of over 90 spacetech companies, as well as the support of international space agencies, including Airbus, SES, Teledyne, Telespazio, SSTL MDA, the UK Space Agency, and the European Space Agency. 

Seraphim Space Accelerator and Seraphim Space Investment Platform are equipped to support space entrepreneurship from idea inception, growth, scale, and eventually exit. Currently, the firm is looking for investment opportunities at Series B and beyond. 

Promus Ventures

Promus Ventures, a seasoned global venture capital firm with a presence in both the US and Europe, specializes in partnering with ambitious deeptech entrepreneurs. Its focus centers on utilizing transformational technologies to digitize established industries. Having supported 100 teams, Promus Ventures has overseen a total capital raise of $4.2 billion across its portfolio. Their investment philosophy revolves around people, products, and potential, with a strong emphasis on community and expertise.

Vsquared Ventures

Based in Germany, Vsquared Ventures is an early-stage backer, investing in deep-tech enterprises that address society's most pivotal challenges, with an emphasis on pioneering quantum and novel computing, sustainable energy solutions, robotics, AI/ML, emerging space technologies, synthetic biology, and healthcare innovation. Its team consists of founders, academics, operators, and innovators, has nurtured over 30 companies, forming one of Europe's leading deeptech portfolios. 

Generalists and deeptech funds that invest in spacetech: 

IQ Capital 

Operating from the UK and being ingrained in the Cambridge tech and science scene, IQ Capital takes the lead in early-stage deep-tech venture capital. Focusing on game-changing sectors like computer science, energy, life sciences, fintech, space, and advanced engineering, IQ Capital has backed over 30 new startupsin the past three years.

The fund is currently investing from its fourth fund on the scale from £500,000 to £10 million per company, targeting disruptive deeptech across sectors like generative AI, advanced engineering, spacetech, quantum hardware, cybersecurity, and synthetic biology. IQ Capitalseeks seed and Series A opportunities with strong deeptech IP and offer follow-on investments of up to £30 million through the Growth Fund.

Molten Ventures

Molten Ventures is a London-based venture capital firm, dedicated to supporting tech entrepreneurs from Series A onwards. The fund provides patient capital, international networks, and decades of business-building experience.

Molten has a particular focus on the following areas: consumer technology, digital tealth & wellness, AI, deeptech & hardware, and cloud, enterprise & SaaS. Its portfolio includes spacetech companies, aligned with its mission to empower Europe in inventing the future. he firm makes 15-30 new investments each year, facilitating rapid scale-ups, and providing introductions, partnerships, and global support. 

APEX Ventures

Based in Austria, APEX Ventures emerges as an influential VC fund, steering the trajectory of deeptech and medical advancements in Europe. It is focused on early-stage companies, at pre-seed and seed stages, with additional capital reserved for follow-on investments.

Encompassing AI, quantum tech, and pioneering medical innovation, the firm's investment mission is to drive lasting industry change. APEX Ventures commits initial funding ranging from €500,000 to €1.5 million, to companies located mostly in the DACH and CEE regions, occasionally venturing into the Nordics and the US.

Supernova Invest

Supernova Invest is a deeptech fund with more than 20 years of experience that focuses on investing in cutting-edge technologies. They have a strong emphasis on four key sectors: Industry 4.0, Healthcare, Energy & Environment, and Digital Technologies.

Move Capital 

Move Capital is a French pan-European Growth Equity fund, positioned to foster European tech companieschampions in B2B technology. Specializing in the data value chain, Move Capital invests in sectors such as IoT, AI, cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Industry 4.0. Recognizing a liquidity gap in growth-stage B2B tech companies across France and Europe, Move Capital aims to fill this void with its seasoned team of ech experts.

The fund prioritizes strong ESG considerations, actively promoting a sustainable ecosystem and offering ticket sizes of €10 million and above. 

MIG Capital

MIG Capital is a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in companies in the deep tech and life sciences sectors. They invest in companies that are pioneers in fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, quantum tech, digitalization/IoT, bio-pharmaceutical therapeutics, medical technology, and digital health. The fund itself is based in Munich, Germany, but they have a global outlook and assist their portfolio companies in international expansions.

Speedinvest

Speedinvest is a pan-European venture capital firm with many sector-focused teams — one of them is deeptech. Its objective is to support visionary European startups with global aspirations in fields such as AI, quantum technologies, materials, and biotechnology.

The firm offers extensive industry-specific network support to startups, connecting them with founders at every stage of the journey to exchange experiences, ideas, and best practices. With an initial ticket size ranging from €200,000 to €2 million, Speedinvest invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups, helping them establish their presence in the market and become competitive players.

High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a German seed investor for tech startups with growth potential. With a team of experts, HTGF provides knowledge and support to nurture young companies in various high-tech sectors,including digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, and chemistry.

The fund’s involvement isn't just financial – it offers invaluable guidance, assist in scaling businesses by connecting them with customers, enhancing sales efforts, and providing industry-specific insights. Moreover, HTGF shares expertise in leadership, management, and operational excellence to drive long-term success for their portfolio companies.

Octopus Ventures

Octopus Ventures is a pan-European investor with a strong presence in the UK and US and a global approach to investing. Its thematic areas encompass B2B software, bio, climate, consumer, deeptech, fintech, health, and HRtech In the deeptech field, the fund is focusing on startups developing tools and technologies that will power the next industrial revolution such as quantum computing, robotics, drones and sensory human augmentation.

Octopus Ventures engages across pre-seed, seed, Series A, and beyond stages. Its pre-seed investments can begin even before product development, with an average investment of £100,000. They also provide seed funding, Series A, and beyond, typically starting at £1 million.

Earlybird

Earlybird is one of the leading venture capital investors fueling European tech innovation. Based in Berlin and covering all development stages, it offers not only financial backing but strategic guidance, global networks, and market access. With four autonomous teams, Earlybird reaches spans geographies and sectors, including early-stage digital technology in the West, ICT investments in the East, health solutions, and deeptech innovation.

It has a specific fund dedicated to deep tech solutions — Earlybird-X - which seeks out companies developing ventures in sectors such as robotics, AI, and mobility. 

360 Capital

360 Capital is an early-stage European venture capital firm that specializes in investing from pre-seed to Series B. It provides entrepreneurs with their expertise, network, and support to help them scale their businesses to their full potential.

The firm is known for taking audacious bets on B2B and B2C solutions, consistently catching innovation trends ahead of others in the market. Its investment focus includes deeptech, such as AI, ML, and robotics, as well as business process automation and mass consumer disruption through digital technology. 360 Capital is are hands-on investor, offering initial investments ranging from €150,000to €2 million in pre-seed and seed stages, and between €2 million and €10 million in Series A/B. 

Amadeus Capital Partners

Amadeus Capital Partners is a UK-based fund with more than 20 years of experience building up innovative ventures in the world. It is focused on early-stage, companies, based in or growing in the UK. The firm is providing them with startup and scale-up capital, and also offers growth investments in tech-enabled consumer and business services in emerging markets.

Amadeus Capital Partnersfocus lies in the following sectors: AI and ML, consumer services, cybersecurity, digital health, digital media, enterprise software, fintech, insurtech, semiconductors and telecoms infrastructure.

Demeter 

Demeter is a prominent player in European venture capital, private equity, and infrastructure, with a commitment to funding a sustainable future, specifically through investments in green energy and ecological transition. The company focuses on thematic areas of innovation, including smart cities, sustainable agriculture, eco-innovation, the ecological transition of cities, industries, energies, and infrastructures, as well as spacetech.

With offices in France, Spain, and Germany, Demeter manages a range of funds from €1 million to €30 million, providing support to companies in the sector throughout their growth stages. This includes innovative startups, small and mid-cap companies, as well as infrastructure projects.

Atomico 

Atomicois dedicated to fueling the growth of tech founders beyond Series A, with a strong European focus. With $4.7 billion in assets under management, Atomico leverages its operational expertise to catalyze exponential growth for its portfolio companies. Driven by a mission to cultivate a prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive technology ecosystem, it is   focusing on future-forward verticals such as fintech, digital work, enterprise data automation, mobility, industrial infrastructure, and more.

Atomico earned a spot on this list through their thematic focus on Frontier Tech, where science meets real-world implementation in areas like synthetic biology, quantum computing, robotics, new energy, space tech, and genomics. 

Neva SGR

Neva SGR is a versatile venture capital fund based in Italy. Neva's key objectives include boosting the Italian economy through new technologies and becoming a market maker for venture capital in Italy. The fund seeks Italian and international startups from late seed to Series B and C stages, with an average ticket size of €4 million.

The firm focuses on market-validated technology and products in sectors such as fintech, deeptech, aerospace, and core computing technologies. Apart from the funding,It offers to startups access to a vast European corporate client network andconnections to research and talent pools.

LIFTT

LIFTT is an Italian venture capital firm that strives to enable the journey from research to market, serving as a hub for technology transfer and extracting value from research results.

Its investment categories span a wide range, including AI, biotech, education, energy, environment, foodtech, healthcare, mobility, New Materials, photonics, quantum technologies, retail, robotics, sensing & IoT, Smart City, and spacetech. LIFTT has made 53 investments, with the most recent investment being made in February, when NeoPhore raised £9.6M.

Expon Capital 

Expon Capital is a Luxembourg-based, purpose-driven venture capital firm that focuses on backing entrepreneurs throughout  the EU, Israel, US, and China,. The investments are making out of two funds — early-stage and scale-up.

The Digital Tech Fund is dedicated to investing in early-stage startups with a specific focus on Luxembourg's startup ecosystem. With a sector-agnostic approach, the fund is particularly interested in companies founded within the last 7 years, and operating in sectors like cybersecurity, fintech, regtech, Big Data, digital health, digital learning, digital platforms, Internet of Things, and New Space. Expon Capital offers an initial ticket size of €200,000-€1 million, follow-on investments of up to €4 million per company.

7 percent Ventures

7pc VC is a globa early-stagel venture capital firm, specializes in deeptech investments.. The fund has a presence in the UK, US, and Europe and is actively investing in startups at the pre-seed and seed stages, including those at the pre-revenue concept stage.

Its check size ranges from $250,000 to $2 million, often co-investing with other angel investors or VCs. The firm prioritizes transformative startups addressing core technical challenges with the potential to command nascent markets, spanning from next-generation quantum computing to the new space economy

Lakestar 

Lakestar is a VC fund strategically positioned in Europe’s landscape with offices in Zurich, London, and Berlin, with a global perspective to doing business. It invests across different themes which include fintech, healthcare digitalization, vertical software, games & media, climate tech, and deeptech. The firm operates out of 5 specialized funds, dedicated to seed, early and growth investments. Lakestar envisions a future shaped by technology, driving progress through founder-led initiatives, supported by their seasoned expertise.

Related Posts:

Top 100 Best Performing VC Funds From The US (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Top FinTech VC Funds From US To Finance Your Startup (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Top Deep Tech VC Funds Investing In Europe (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)



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