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COLORADO SPRINGS — Investment into space companies hit a record high in 2018, exceeding $3 billion with no sign of an imminent downturn, according to a new report by a consulting firm.
The "Start-Up Space" report, published April 9 by Bryce Space and Technology, found that various types of investment into space companies, from venture capital to debt financing, totaled $3.23 billion in 2018. That tops the $3.03 billion invested in space companies in 2016, and $680 million more than in 2017.
Deal - Bryce - Report - Deal - Year
That total came without a single deal larger than $1 billion. The Bryce report estimates the largest single deal last year was $750 million invested in Blue Origin by its founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos. There were also three separate late-stage investments in SpaceX that the report estimates to be worth more than $200 million each.
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Year - Deals - Carissa - Christensen - Executive
"2018 was the biggest year yet, and it's really interesting because there were no billion-dollar deals," said Carissa Christensen, chief executive of Bryce, in an interview. "This was a lot of more diversified investment."
Venture capital investment alone grew by 22 percent in 2018 to $2 billion, she noted. "Those are the investors that are looking for financial return," she said, as opposed to those who invest for broader strategic reasons or have other non-financial motivations.
Growth - Sign - Industry - Investors - Business
That growth is a positive sign for the industry, she said, because these investors are convinced by the business cases of these startups despite the limited number of companies in the sector that have provided a return to their investors. "There are a lot more VCs in the game, including many new investors to space," she said.
Another significant trend, she said, is the growth in the number of investors from outside the United States. While the majority of seed and venture funding in 2018 came from American investors, nearly...
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