Space exploration has been an endeavour largely undertaken by national governments, ever since the Russians launched the first artificial satellite into orbit in 1957. Many have argued that not only is space exploration cost-prohibitive for individual organisations, but also that there are many potential issues with private exploration. These include the possibilities of land-grabs that there is no precedent for resolving in court, or the sullying of pure science.
However, despite these concerns, in recent years private companies have begun to join the space race. Companies such as Boeing have long been providing rockets, satellites and other components and equipment to agencies such as NASA. Today, private companies are seeking to begin their own space exploration projects, paving the way for more private investment in the future. Dylan Taylor, former Colliers CEO and a founding partner of Space Angels, is an angel investor in the space exploration industry.
In recent years, many private, high-net-worth individuals have hit media headlines for their efforts in funding and driving the next wave of space exploration. Notable names include Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Robert Bigelow and Paul Allen, who have each self-funded exploration into space.
This handful of private individuals and companies are now being joined by increases in public sector funding for space projects. Advances in technologies, more affordability and a growing interest in space travel combine to create huge amounts of potential across many different fields.
More governments and organisations are now beginning to explore possibilities such as high-speed deliveries, satellite broadband and even human tourism into space. These new opportunities are likely to drive more investment from both the public and private sectors over the coming years.
There are many investment opportunities opening up in the field of space travel and space exploration. Angel investors such as Dylan Taylor were among the first to privately fund projects involving space exploration. Capital from angel investors has facilitated the growth of many companies involved in this, leading to an influx of venture capitalists jumping aboard.
As space-related companies start to become profitable, more and more investors are seeing space as a viable investment. Increases in the numbers of venture capital entrants to the market has enabled successful companies to grow even further. This in turn is beginning to create interest among private equity firms, allowing the cycle to continue and the industry to expand.
NewSpace is a global philosophy and movement encompassing the emerging market for private space flights. It specifically refers to the growing group of aerospace ventures and companies that are operating independently of major contractors and national governments to create commercial access to space flights and space technologies.
In writing for Space News Magazine, Dylan Taylor spoke of the opportunities that will open up in the NewSpace industry once the floodgates open to private equity investment. There is still significant work to be done, writes Taylor, before private equity investors will be attracted in significant volume. However, the current market trends and influx of both angel investment and venture capital all point towards increased private equity investment in the NewSpace sector in the not too distant future.
About Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor is an American executive whose best-known role was as Global President of Colliers International from June 2015 to June 2019. Taylor is also known for being a super angel investor and for his involvement in the space industry. He studied at the University of Arizona for his bachelor’s degree with honours, and at the University of Chicago for his Master of Business Administration. Taylor was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and selected by the Aspen Institute as a Henry Crown Fellow in 2014.