- Venture capital firm Seraphim Capital, unusually, is planning an IPO and aims to raise $211 million.
- The space-focused fund is looking to capitalize on the excitement around the commercial space.
- Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are investing in the space privately.
A venture capital fund focused on space startups is going public, giving retail investors a possible shot at backing SpaceX next.
London-based Seraphim Capital is aiming to raise $211 million as part of an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in the summer. It targets a net asset value return of 20% on a yearly basis over the long term.
Founded in 2016, Seraphim Capital has invested in more than 50 companies to date, many with valuations above $1 billion. One firm, quantum computing startup Arqit, is set to be listed in the SPAC deal at a valuation of $1.4 billion.
“Space is already a vast field and the broad consensus is that we are poised for big growth in the next 10 to 20 years,” James Brueger, Seraphim’s chief investment officer, told Businesshala. “Our decision to go public is informed by the same fundamental changes that our first fund in 2016 brought around, which we believe is the sector at an important turning point.”
The new public entity, Seraphim Space Investment Trust plc, will continue to invest in startups in the industry. It will also buy some of Seraphim Capital’s existing seed assets as part of the deal, including a stake in Arkit; Pinnacle Global, a provider of satellite-based global weather forecasting and cellular broadband company AST & Sci. Investors of Seraphim Capital will use the cash to purchase shares in the public entity.
Space tech has had a PR boost thanks to commercial space firms SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.
Private investment in the commercial space industry is generally growing rapidly, reaching a record $8.9 billion last year. According to data from Space Capital. The broader market is estimated to be worth $366 billion, and could be as much as $1.4 trillion by 2030, per bank of america.
It is unusual for venture capital companies to go public, and Seraphim aims to open up the privately funded space tech market to a wider group of investors in the public markets.
This would give retail investors the opportunity to profit if Seraphim’s investments become the next SpaceX, as opposed to private funds. Another London-based venture capital firm, Draper Esprit, went public in 2016 and backed successful startups such as neo-bank Revolut, car marketplace Kazoo and software startup Youpath.
Whereas venture capital funds must return their investors’ cash and reinvest in tight lifecycles, Seraphim can operate an “evergreen” fund above the investor’s money.
“The opportunity in space is bigger than we can cover with a traditional fund and the vision of the companies we are supporting is making science fact in science and we want to remove the barriers we face in those areas.” Can support the companies we want to back.”
The company also runs a space tech accelerator called Space Camp, which aims to raise seed funding for early-stage startups, and also helps prepare companies for Series A rounds. Seraphim called this event COVID-19. was driven remotely during.
“There is a halo effect in this industry where top entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are all pouring their personal wealth into the space,” Brueger said. “This is a leading indicator for the industry and an area we think our new vehicle can capitalize on and that public market investors will benefit from.”