The space industry has been going through a major transformation in recent years. In 2023, we have updated some of our previous classification of the SpaceTech landscape, to create Seraphim’s updated view of the SpaceTech ecosystem for 2023. The ecosystem map looks to capture companies across the SpaceTech value chain, Upstream, Downstream & the In-Space economy. We look to include the most progressed venture backed “New Space” startups in our map, often the proxy we use for this is level of investment raised. Each company is only represented one across the map, a challenge given many of these companies are acting across many segments of the value chain.
This year, 333 companies are represented on the map, as usual around 50%, are US based. However the map includes SpaceTech companies from 29 countries globally, showing that NewSpace is a global phenomenon. The top geographies represented include, US, UK, Germany, France, China, Japan, Israel & Singapore.
Note on Drones
Drones have long been a complementary imaging platform, with many of our portfolio incorporate both satellite & drone data into their solutions. However given the proliferation in the number of pure-play space players, we feel that there is no longer the available real-estate within the map, to justify their continued inclusion. This has had an impact following categories:
- Launch category - removal of flight & delivery companies
- Collect - removing all drone companies, however, we maintain HAPS
- Analyse - removing companies that producing analytics on drone data, rather than satellite data
We have more clearly defined the Build segment into 2 key categories, hardware & software. The hardware segment is more mature, and represents companies that have been providing the hardware layer enabling new space, often for many years. The companies represented within the Software segment are generally at a much earlier stage, with none represented beyond Series A. The recent expansion in number companies providing software to Space Companies, shows that founders have identified a meaningful market opportunity, within satellite operators and manufacturers alone. There are now sufficient numbers of startups acting in this segment to warrant its own sub-category.
The launch segment remains relatively stable, however we’re seeing increasing activity in the SpaceTug segment. We believe OTVs will become increasingly important as Starship, and other heavily lift capability come online. Rideshare satellites don’t have the luxury of dictating their orbits. OTVs provide the ideal solution, allowing all satellites to arrive at their planned orbits, while enjoying the improved economics of the larger launch vehicles.
In the satellite constellations segment, IoT has been separated into its own distinct segment to better differentiate between the type of offering & end markets that each type of constellation is targeting. Low cost IoT connectivity is exciting as it has the potential to revolutionize the reaching of IoT, impacting agriculture & logistics in particular.
Following our deep dive into the in-space economy, we have brought the in-space economy segment, into alignment with the taxonomies from the previous map. We have condensed segments as required, and only represented what we view as the most progressed startups within this field. This year contains the most companies ever recorded in this segment at 51.
Across Downstream in general, there were 4 new additions from Singapore. The SpaceTech sector in Singapore is flourishing, and while we have generally seen more upstream/hardware SpaceTech companies in Asia, this trend now appears to be shifting to a similar dynamic seen in the West where improving AI and analytics capabilities are leading to a surge in Analyse and Product companies in these regions.
There were also many new additions in the Analyse segment. This is unsurprising as following an explosion in earth observation data thanks to maturing EO satellite constellations. This trend has also been reflected in the amount of funding the Analyse segment has received, which, according to our most recent Space Index, was one of the most resilient segments in the recent investment downturn.
Many new Product businesses have been founded in recent years and these businesses are all addressing different global challenges. Most of the additions on the downstream this year were to the product category. We have thus split this section up in to the major themes we see these platforms addressing - climate, insurance and logistics. Climate is no doubt one of the most populated segments, as this theme is critical to the future of humanity and many entrepreneurs have identified crucial gaps in this market.
It is notable that most of the Product - Climate additions were companies in the UK. The UK is beginning to emerge as a leader in climate tech and this trend is seen strongly amongst SpaceTech companies too.
Join us for a live webinar on Tuesday 18th of April at 4:30pm BST to discuss the updated Ecosystem map for 2023!