Space technologies SPACs in the lead

, Proactive

The space technology industry saw an acceleration in the number of announced mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) so far in 2021, with 11 space-related companies announcing they are coming to market via deals with SPACs.

In total, the first quarter has seen US$7.2bn of intended funding for the space sector, compared to US$7.7bn for the whole of last year, according to research by Seraphim Capital, which managed the Seraphim SpaceTech Index.

Confirmed deals in the quarter included Rocket Lab USA announcing a merger with Vector Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:VACQ) in a deal valuing the small rocket launch company at US$4.1bn; satellite group Spire Global combining with NavSight Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSH) in a deal valuing its at roughly US$1.6bn; and follow satellite operator BlackSky, which is reversing into Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp (NYSE:SFTW).

Overall venture capital investment into the sector in the last year was 95% higher than in the 12 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the analysis, when Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) was one of the first SPAC mergers and the first space company. Europe has continued to close the gap on North America in terms of average deal sizes, thanks to significant transactions including large deals such as for London-based OneWeb and Volocopter.

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