NewSpace Europe conference 2018

NewSpace Europe conference 2018

I was privileged to moderate the panel on investment during the NewSpace Europe conference last November. 4 panelists were onstage, and offered a good mix of institutional and private players perspectives.:

Some of the discussed topics:

  • Why has NewSpace become interesting?
  • Is it “DeepTech” (i.e. high capex intensity &l long lead times) and/or Digital?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the European NewSpace?
  • How to manage the level of risk of hardware development from an investor standpoint?
  • NewSpace has not seen a lot of successful exits from the investment community. How to explain that?
  • How to get mainstream funds to be comfortable with NewSpace, that has high barriers of entry (technology, regulations)
  • How to foster the cooperations between the incumbents players and the NewSpace?

It has been an intense 60mn, and we honestly did not have enough time to properly address all the topics.


Great panelists to discuss on NewSpace investment! Credits: Marie de Decker


A key conclusion is that NewSpace has reached a third maturation phase

  • The first phase was the initial enthusiasm for its technological and operational capabilities. Basically, we thought NewSpace would be a success because cubesats were operational, launched by reusable rockets
  • The second phase has been the acknowledgment that market traction was not a given, even with revolutionary features. Hence the recent partnerships between leading NewSpace players and established players, to secure market access (e.g. Planet and Airbus).
  • The third phase is emerging. It is the realization that financing is a complete part of a NewSpace project. It requires the ability to operate with a specific ecosystem, such as private VCs, institutional financial players (EIB, BPI), corporates, space agencies, lenders or stock markets. Clearly, a challenge on its own.

A needed next-step

This panel has been useful to start exchanging on the good practices on NewSpace financing.
Given the large investment requirements of NewSpace, I am convinced of the relevance of a venue for the various stakeholders to meet, identify specific financing needs and raise awareness of funding instruments.

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Start-ups

Jansky Partners provides 3 kinds of support to space-related start-ups, i.e. newspace:

Jansky Partners leverages its network of investment funds and established players to support the start-up founders. A specific focus will be the development of soft-skills, to enable long-term relationships with these critical stakeholders.

Incumbents

Established players now operate in a fast-changing environment and face headwinds on historical activities.In parallel, two different ecosystems exist, which can be tapped for growth:

They have 3 main reasons to cooperate with these ecosystems:

Jansky Partners helps established players adapting themselves to these new ecosystems, in order to generate new potential.

Investment funds

Space-related business has high-barriers of entry for funds, due to its technological and regulatory aspects. An investment due-diligence must encompass technical, operational, regulatory, institutional, commercial, marketing, financial and corporate aspects.

Thanks to its experienced staff, Jansky Partners provides an overall risk/opportunity assessment, for opportunities on nascent or established targets.