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What’s next for space tech? 9 VCs look to the future

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What’s next for space tech? 9 VCs look to the future

Space is a particular class of VC funding in the very best of instances — and the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t be the very best of instances.

Still, buyers targeted on and aware of house see loads of alternative available in the market, no matter any prevailing world financial difficulties. One massive motive why is that no matter how tight pursestrings get tied, house nonetheless represents a major — and rising — supply of presidency and protection spending. It’s additionally the supply of a number of the most vital technological improvement for the reason that creation of the web, together with the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), which has revolutionized any variety of companies and industries.

That’s unlikely to be an exception by way of the potential business impression of house — extra like a mannequin for future innovation, based on our respondents, who embrace:

  • Chad Anderson, Managing Partner, Space Capital
  • Ethan Batraski, Partner, Venrock
  • Will Porteous, General Partner and COO, RRE Ventures
  • Shahin Farshchi, Partner, Lux Capital
  • Tess Hatch, Vice President, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Matt Kozlov, Managing Director, Techstars Starburst
  • Rayfe Gaspar-Asaoka, Principal, Canaan Partners
  • Rob Coneybeer, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Shasta Ventures
  • Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Voyager Space Holdings
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Chad Anderson, Space Capital

What are you in search of in your subsequent funding?

The mass distribution of Earth Observation (EO) information has begun. Much the identical manner that Trimble, Magellan and Garmin distributed the GPS sign within the 1980s and ’90s and finally gave rise to Location-Based Services (LBS). Companies like Waterloo, Ontario-based SkyWatch are aggregating provide and making EO information simply accessible by way of an API, which is able to give rise to thousands and thousands of latest purposes. We are simply now starting to see the primary of these purposes come on-line, targeted on serving massive markets like agriculture, insurance coverage, vitality and extra. Once this unprecedented quantity of latest information will get into the arms of shoppers, it should essentially change the best way we work together with our planet. We imagine the funding alternative on this phase will likely be as massive, if not larger, than LBS.

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With roughly a decade of exponential progress in GPS purposes, that is solely the start. Even whereas GPS infrastructure and distribution continues to enhance, the following technology of purposes are testing its technical limits, with the necessity for persistent protection in dense city areas, centimeter location accuracy for each indoor and out of doors environments, different options in GPS-denied environments, and safety in opposition to GPS spoofing assaults. Computer imaginative and prescient and GPS are combining to allow a brand new stage of exact positioning and we’re actively these new use circumstances.

We are additionally very , and actively investing, in cybersecurity. Ten years in the past, the variety of actors in house was extraordinarily restricted, so safety was clearly much less of a priority. There is an previous adage on the subject of business sat comms — it’s not that their safety is dangerous, it’s that they don’t have any safety (after all, navy belongings are a distinct story — e.g., GPS could be very safe). With the sudden entrance of tons of of latest firms and dozens of latest house companies working in house, cyber threats all of the sudden pose a really actual threat to enterprise continuity and authorities operations. Combine this with new technological advances being utilized to the house area and there’s clearly loads of catching as much as do. Fortunately, firms like Singapore-based SpeQtral are leveraging quantum applied sciences to supply a safe, scalable resolution for distributing symmetric encryption keys utilizing satellites as trusted key exchanging nodes. We proceed to have a look at this space.

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What recommendation do you will have in your portfolio firms by way of new and rising alternatives?

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