Chicago-based Promus Ventures has closed a €120 million ($139 million) space fund, dubbed Orbital Ventures, focused on early-stage space companies.
The new fund, which will be based in Luxembourg, grew out of a mix of public and private investment. The European Investment Fund, the financing arm of the European Union’s European Investment Bank Group, committed €40 million, with additional participation by Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy and the National Credit and Investment Institution.
While Promus Ventures’ invests across a range of industries, its track history in the space sector includes investments in Rocket Lab, Spire and Swift Navigation. Orbital Ventures, which made its first close in January 2020, has also made several investments, including in satellite terminal developer Isotropic Systems, geospatial data company Ellipsis Drive, and Denmark’s Fernride.
“We continue to witness terrific growth and developments in the New Space industry, and we are excited to deploy this new sector-specific space fund,” Promus Ventures partner Pierre Festal said in a statement. “We are thankful to our investors for their trust and support in this endeavor. […] It’s a pivotal time for global space players and the outlook is strong.”
The new fund is just the latest sector-specific space fund to emerge in recent years, as investor interest in the burgeoning orbital market continues to rise. Last week, Space Capital reported that investors – including VCs, angel investors, corporate investors, private equity and others – poured $8.7 billion into the industry in the third quarter of 2021 alone, positioning this year to beat 2020’s investing record.
Much of the capital raised went to space companies that went public via mergers with blank-check firms. These deals accounted for $1.2 billion of the $3.9 billion of venture funding during the third quarter of this year.